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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.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.