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Royals’ Perez injured during WBC, had to be helped off field

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico — 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 11-10 Saturday in the World Baseball Classic on Martin Prado‘s 10th-inning double.

Butera stumbled into Perez to end the ninth inning with the score tied at 10. Butera appeared to try limiting contact with Perez but still fell into his left knee, and Perez could not put weight on the leg as he was helped off the field.

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) 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 advanced to the next round.

Venezuela will play against Mexico on Sunday and Puerto Rico will face Italy.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.