Although Kansas City fell 7-2 to Oakland Athletics, Royals catcher Salvador Perez entered the Major League Baseball history books on Thursday as he tied Johnny Bench's record for homers in a season by a catcher with his 45th.

Perez hit a two-run homer in the first inning, tying Bench for the most by a catcher who played at least 75% of his team's games. Perez leads the majors with 45 home runs and 112 RBIs this season.

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Thanks to Chad Pinder's two-run single in a third-inning rally, the Athletics downed the Royals.

Pinder got a two-out RBI single in a four-run third inning in which Oakland had seven runners reach base despite only having two hits.

In the ninth inning, the A's scored three runs on just one hit. For the two AL wild cards, Oakland was 3 1/2 games behind Toronto, Boston, and the New York Yankees.

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In the sixth and eighth innings, the Royals had the tying runs on base with fewer than two outs but were unable to score.

Oakland's Paul Blackburn (1-2) pitched five and a half innings, allowing two runs on six hits.

Daniel Lynch (4-5) was tagged with the defeat. With the bases loaded and a full count on Matt Olson, he departed the game in the third inning with left calf discomfort. In two and a half innings, he gave up three runs (one earned) on two hits. He also struck out two hitters and walked one.

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Perez is three homers shy of tying Jorge Soler's 2019 club record. Soler extended the Royals' winning streak to eleven games. With 197, Perez is tied for second on the club's all-time tally with Mike Sweeney. With 317 points, George Brett owns the club record.

In the third, only one of Oakland's runs was earned. Seven hitters reached base for the A's, but only two did so on hits.

Josh Harrison’s single drove in Elvis Andrus with the first run. Jed Lowrie reached on an error, scoring another run, and Pinder’s two-run single capped the inning.

With inputs from the Associated Press