Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, playing for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, was injured Saturday in a home-plate collision with major-league teammate Drew Butera.
Italy was trailing 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth, when Gavin Cecchini drove a hit to the outfield. The tying run came in from second, and Butera was trying to score from first to win it. The throw beat Butera easily, and he bowled awkwardly into Perez's legs, sending the four-time MLB All-Star tumbling.
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Perez had to be helped to the locker room and was undergoing X-rays on his knee.
Venezuela went on to win 11-10 in 10 innings. Manager Omar Vizquel said after the game that Perez had "a loose knee" and called him "a question mark" for the rest of the WBC.
Butera, who is Perez's backup with the Royals, talked about the play after the game.
Drew Butera on play at plate: "I feel really bad. But I thought the ball was going to be in the gap and I was just trying to score." 1/2— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) March 12, 2017
"When I saw that I was going to be out by a lot I just stopped. It was unfortunate that I hit him where I did."— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) March 12, 2017
Perez has been named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove in each of the past four seasons for the Royals.
Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who threw the ball to Perez before Butera slid into him, was also injured on the play. The nature of his injury was unclear.