"I was so excited," Perez said.
So were the Royals after seeing him perform. Perez not only got his first hit, first run and first RBI, he caught five popups -- including a bunt in front of home plate -- picked off two runners and almost nabbed a third.
Perez remembers it all vividly.
"The pop flies, the bunt, the throw-outs -- everything," he said.
More forgettable was the end of the game, as the Rays wiped out a four-run Royals lead with a five-run ninth against relievers Aaron Crow and Joakim Soria. The tying and winning runs scored when Sam Fuld hit a triple and scored when the throw from second baseman Johnny Giavotella hit him as he slid into third and rolled away for a game-ending error.