Perez hurt in collision before rally
All-star catcher Salvador Perez was injured in a home-plate collision with Drew Butera, his backup with the Kansas City Royals, and Venezuela rallied to beat Italy, 1110, on Saturday in the World Baseball Classic on Martin Prado’s 10th-inning double in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Italy’s Butera stumbled into Perez to end the ninth inning with the score tied at 10. Butera appeared to try to limit his contact with Perez but still fell into his left knee, and Perez struggled to put weight on the leg as he was helped off the field.
“Salvador has a loose knee, and he’s going to go to the clinic for X-rays to see if everything is fine,” Venezuela Manager Omar Vizquel said. “Right now, he’s a question mark for [Sunday’s] game.”
Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez was also injured on the play. The Venezuelan right-hander made a relay toss to Perez, then fell to the ground. It was unclear what his injury was.
Perez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to put Venezuela ahead 10-8.
Prado, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, brought home Houston’s Jose Altuve with his hit to center field.
The Venezuelans trailed 5-0 after four innings but stayed alive in the WBC, improving to 1-1 in Group D. Venezuela was eliminated in the first round four years ago.
Puerto Rico (1-0 entering Saturday’s late game against Mexico) is the group leader. The Italians (1-1) are in second with a better run differential, while Mexico (0-1) is third. The top two teams advance to the next round.
Venezuela will play against Mexico on Sunday, and Italy will face Puerto Rico.
COLOMBIA 4, CANADA 1: Colombia managed to rebound after wasting a lead and losing its WBC opener to the United States.
Julio Teheran allowed a runscoring single in the first to Atlanta teammate Freddie Freeman, then retired his final 13 batters in a win over the Canadians in Miami.
The Colombians had led the United States by two in the sixth before losing, 3-2, in 10 innings.
Donovan Solano had a pair of RBI singles, with the first driving in brother Jhonatan Solano from second base in the third inning. The latter scored Tito Polo with two outs in the fifth against Ryan Kellogg for a 2-1 lead.
Colombia (1-1) can advance to the second round with a win over defending champion Dominican Republic (1-0 entering Saturday’s late game against the United States) on Sunday.
Canada (0-2), which opened with a 9-2 loss to the Dominicans, plays the U.S. (1-0) on Sunday.
Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne, now 41 and nine years removed from his last big league appearance, relieved Canada’s Rowan Wick with the bases loaded in the sixth and forced in a run with a walk to Jhonatan Solano. Gagne allowed one hit and struck out two in 21/3 innings.