KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kansas City's Salvador Perez borrowed a bat donated by Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera for the first time on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) in the Royals' Major League Baseball game against the Boston Red Sox.
Cabrera had given the bat to the Royals' Drew Butera when last in town. While choosing not to use it, Butera describes it as "a magic stick".
It was certainly magic for Perez, who hit his first career grand slam, connecting in the eighth inning to rally the Royals over Boston 6-4.
"Miggy gave the bat to Butera when Detroit was playing here," Perez said. "Drew doesn't use it. It's too heavy for him. Today, coming into the clubhouse, I put it in my locker. I like the bat.
"Today was the first day I used it and I'll use it Friday, too, before you ask me. I don't want to break that one. I've got to call Miggy and say, 'You've got to send me some more bats.'"
The Royals have won nine of 11 and moved within a game of .500.
Perez homered over the Kansas City bullpen in left field on the ninth pitch from Robby Scott (0-1). With Boston leading 4-2, reliever Matt Barnes started the inning by walking Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain on 12 pitches.
"We uncharacteristically lost the strike zone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "For a group that has been so good at not issuing too many walks over the course of the year, we had an inning that got away from us. Matt was up in the zone. He couldn't get the ball down."
Scott was summoned to face Eric Hosmer, but walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Perez. The All-Star catcher fouled off three full-count deliveries before hitting his 15th home run of the season.
"I was happy with where the pitch was, but it was too good," Scott said. "There's not much else to say about it."
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Perez was the first Kansas City player to hit a grand slam in the eighth inning or later with the Royals trailing since Frank White in 1986. Perez went 3 for 3 in the win.
Jorge Soria (3-2) worked a spotless eighth. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.
Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit successive home runs in the Boston fourth off Ian Kennedy.
Benintendi's drive was estimated at 454 feet and landed in the right-center waterfall. The leadoff homer was Boston's first hit, and the 100th of Benintendi's career.
Five pitches later, Bogaerts went deep to left, tying the score at 2. It was the fourth time this season the Red Sox have hit back-to-back home runs.
Kennedy was removed after 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, three hits and three walks. He has just one victory in his past 17 starts.
Errors by Kennedy and first baseman Cheslor Cuthbert helped Boston score twice in the fifth.