9/7/2013 1:20 A.M. ET
Storm Chasers sweep, will play for PCL title
By Dick Kaegel and Kathleen Gier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Triple-A Omaha defeated Oklahoma City, 7-6, to complete a three-game sweep of the best-of-five series in the Pacific Coast League semifinals on Friday night.
Trailing by two runs in the eighth inning, Gorkys Hernandez hit a three-run homer and Maikel Cleto secured the victory with two scoreless innings of relief.
The Storm Chasers, who advance to their third straight PCL championship series starting on Tuesday, will face the winner of Las Vegas-Salt Lake series.
Salvy gets early rest in lopsided loss to Tigers
KANSAS CITY -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez left a game early again on Friday night but it had nothing to do with any concussion-like symptoms. He was just getting an early break from the 16-2 beating dealt out by the Tigers.
"Everything is good," Perez said after the loss. "Everything is fine. I'll go tomorrow again."
Perez played four innings and went 0-for-2 at the plate. With the Tigers ahead, 10-1, he was replaced behind the plate by George Kottaras.
"I took everybody out after four or five innings and everybody's fine," manager Ned Yost said. "He's fine, it was just one of those games where you get the guys that have been playing every day off their feet."
Perez left Thursday's 7-6 win over the Mariners in the fifth of 13 innings because of mild dizziness after taking the latest foul ball off the chin of his face mask. He had missed a week in August because of a concussion.
"When they did all of the impact tests that they do after that, he had score of 84 out of 85 so there was not that much concern yesterday," Yost said before Friday night's game. "He came back in and was absolutely perfect. We got him in the weight room, did some cardio to get his heart rate up and there was no change so he's a full-go."
Yost also indicated that Perez again would try the helmeted hockey-style mask to alleviate the risk of foul balls, but the catcher decided to stick with his usual mask.
"I've tried it before," Perez said. "I just don't feel comfortable. I feel fine with my old one. You can't do anything about getting hit by foul tips. It's going to happen to everybody."
Because of his big size, Perez also tends to crouch a bit farther back from home plate than normal and Yost is encouraging him to move closer to the batter.
"We're going to try to scoot him up under the hitters a little bit closer to see if maybe he can dodge some foul balls that way and just see what it happens," Yost said.
Often in a playoff chase, players will disregard injuries to stay in the lineup, but Yost said that would never happen with him in the case of a head or concussion-type injury.
"If he came in today with any symptoms then, boom, no he wasn't going to play. But he was totally symptom-free. It's totally black-and-white for me," Yost said.
Major League Baseball has taken a firm stance on such injuries, requiring concussion tests. Second baseman Chris Getz has passed those tests and was awaiting MLB clearance to resume playing.
Getz left Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Mariners after two innings because of mild dizziness and hasn't played since. He also has a history of concussions, missing the last three weeks of the 2010 season.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who'd been out with an oblique pull, is able to hit now and got two at-bats after going into right field in the sixth inning on Friday night. He went hitless, but got in some game-action swings for the first time in nearly a month.
Holland's tremendous saves run ends at 31
KANSAS CITY -- Greg Holland's streak of 31 consecutive saves wasn't the only run that ended in the Royals' 7-6 win over the Mariners in 13 innings on Thursday. He also lost a string of 17 straight scoreless one-inning appearances.
The Royals closer entered the game in the ninth inning with a one-run lead. He retired the first two batters, but gave up a game-tying home run to pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez. Holland's saves streak, which was the second longest in franchise history, was halted. Joakim Soria holds the record with 36 straight saves.
"I just wanted to win," Holland said. "It's one of those things where you try to go out there and execute pitches, and I didn't execute one pitch and the game is tied."
It was the first time since May 6 against the Chicago White Sox that Holland hadn't converted a save. Since May 30, he's allowed just four earned runs in 40 innings for a 0.90 ERA with 61 strikeouts. Ibanez's homer was the first run scored against him since July 27.
"Ibanez is about a good a guy coming off the bench as you're going to find in baseball," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He just kind of sat on a slider, got one and hit it out."
Entering Friday night's series opener against the Tigers, Holland's 38 saves ranked seventh on the Royals' single-season list and just one behind Jeff Montgomery's 39 in 1992. Holland is just the fourth Royals reliever to record 40 or more saves in a season -- joining Montgomery, Soria and Dan Quisenberry.
Royals aren't big on free passes for Miggy
KANSAS CITY -- Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has been battling leg injuries and an abdominal strain, but he was in starting lineup on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Don't look for the Royals to intentionally walk the dangerous right-handed slugger very often, though.
"You just balance it. You've got to be brave," manager Ned Yost said. "My philosophy is this and it's really simple. Because, I learned this when Barry Bonds was going through his heyday and was getting 200 walks a year. Every time I walked Barry Bonds, he'd come around and score anyway.
"So when you're hitting .350 like Miguel Cabrera is, he's going going to make 6 1/2 outs out of every 10. So is he going to hit a home run? Yeah, but what's the difference of me walking him and he scores anyway or he hits a home run? That's kind of my mindset. If he's making 6 1/2 outs out of every 10 and still hitting .350, the best hitter in baseball, you play the odds every once in a while.
"You pick your spots, you pick your matchups. With Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez behind him, you're just asking for trouble. Yeah, it's tough. They're tough decisions, but sometimes you've got to go mano-a-mano."
For the record, in 13 games this year preceding Friday night's series opener, the Royals had walked Cabrera eight times in 56 plate appearances but intentionally just twice. On each occasion, the Royals retired Fielder for the third out of the inning.
Cabrera took a .304 average with four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 games this season against the Royals into the series opener.
• Double-A Northwest Arkansas manager Brian Poldberg has joined the Royals' coaching staff for the rest of the season. Tony Tijerina will leave on Saturday to resume his Minor League field coordinator duties. Bench coach Chino Cadahia remains on leave because of a family matter.
• Billy Butler's 5-for-5 performance in Thursday's victory was the third five-hit game of his career and his second this season. Only two other Royals had more than one five-hit game in a season -- Al Cowens in 1977 and Joe Randa in '99.
• The 13-inning, 4-hour, 17-minute game on Thursday was the Royals' longest this season by innings and time.
• The eight pitchers used by the Royals in Wednesday night's 6-4 loss to Seattle set a franchise record for most used in a nine-inning game.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.