NEW YORK — Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer off All-Star closer Clay Holmes in the ninth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Yankees 8-6 to avoid being swept in the season series.
Holmes (5-2) blew a save for the third time in 20 chances.
Whit Merrifield walked with one out – Holmes’ eighth walk in his last eight games and five in his first 35.
Bobby Witt Jr. was hit on a hand with a pitch, forcing him from the game.
Perez, who struck out twice and popped out to the catcher in his first three at-bats, drove a 1-2 sinker 441 feet into Monument Park behind the center-field wall. It was the first home run allowed this year by Holmes, who was facing his 181st batter.
Kansas City went 1-6 against the AL leading-Yankees, who last swept a season series of seven games are more by going 7-0 against Minnesotain 2009.
Judge went 0 for 3 with two walks and ended July with a major league-leading 42 homers and 91 RBIs.
Royals starter Zack Greinke allowed three runs, five hits and two walks with three strikeouts over five innings.
Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery gave up four runs, four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in four-plus innings.
Kansas City took a 4-0 lead in the fifth on Nick Pratto‘s two-run single, Maikel Garcia’s RBI double and Merrifield’s run-scoring groundout.
Kyle Higashioka had an RBI single in the botttom half, and LeMahieu hit a two-run homer into the right-field short porch.
His streak of consecutive batters without a hit was the second-longest since 1974, according to STATS, behind Dennis Eckersley’s 71 for Cleveland in 1977 and Dwight Gooden’s 57 for the Yankees in 1996.
Judge’s batting average dipped from .300 to .297. No one has batted at least .300 while hitting at least 50 homers and exceeding 100 RBIs since Alex Rodriguez hit .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs for the Yankees in 2007.
ZACK’S BIG APPLE DROUGHT
Rizzo’s home run cost Greinke a chance to earn his win at the Yankees. He is 0-3 with an 8.63 ERA in eight games in the Bronx, including old Yankee Stadium.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (right lat) is expected to begin throwing Monday. . OF/DH Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles) will begin baseball activities this week. . LHP Zack Britton (left elbow) is scheduled to face batters this week for the first time since he Tommy John surgery last September.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller (5-11, 4.18), who leads the AL in losses, is slated to open a three-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Yankees: RHP Domingo Germa (0-1, 8.22 ERA) will make his third start of the season as a homestand continues with the opener of three-game set against Seattle.