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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.

Nationals virtually unveil 2019 World Series rings

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On Sunday evening, the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals unveiled their championship rings online. The Nats took down the Astros in seven hard-fought games last October to win their first Fall Classic in franchise history, with starter Stephen Strasburg winning MVP honors.

As the video highlights about the ring, the Nationals honored “Baby Shark,” a children’s song that became part of the team’s identity last year thanks to reserve outfielder Gerardo Parra. The ring also has all kinds of mementos referencing the Nationals’ triumphs throughout the years, including a reference to 2006, when the Lerner family bought the franchise.

It is a shame that, due to the global pandemic, the Nationals haven’t been able to properly get their rings like past championship winners. But they will, in due time. For now, the players can look forward to receiving their rings in the mail.