Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/17/12

Catcher Salvador Perez, with his .371 batting average and .677 slugging percentage in 17 games since coming off the disabled list, batted ninth for the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

"I don't want to keep him down," manager Ned Yost said.

So why was Perez, who homered in his first at-bat to lead off the third inning in the Royals' 9-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners, dropped to the ninth slot? Yost proceeded to go over his entire batting order.

"(Lorenzo) Cain is swinging the bat really well, so the fifth spot is taken," Yost said. "(Alex) Gordon's got the No. 1 spot. He's been very productive in it. (Alcides) Escobar has done a nice job in the two, and that's the spot we envision keeping him at long term.

"We envision the same for Eric Hosmer in the three hole. He's struggling a little bit right now, but kind of like Escobar last year, I want him accustomed to that three spot because I think that's where he's going to be his whole career.

"We got Billy (Butler) hitting four, so we can't put him in the four. Moose (Mike Moustakas) has really done a nice job in the sixth, so he (Perez) doesn't fit in the sixth.

"In the seventh, we've got Frenchy (Jeff Francoeur). We switched Yuni (Betancourt) and Cain around because Cain was hitting eight. So that leaves one spot. That's where he's (Perez) at.

"I think Sal fits in that spot. If the sixth, seventh and eighth guys get on, he can drive them in. He can get on for the one, two and three guys. I think he's eventually going to be up (in the order), but right now, the one spot we've got him hitting is ninth, and that's where he's probably going to remain for a while."

Perez finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk.

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