The Royals’ backup catcher crushed the Royals’ starting catcher in a play at the plate tonight. In the bottom of the ninth of the World Baseball Classic game in Mexico, Drew Butera, playing for Team Italy, collided with Salvador Pérez, guarding home for Team Venezuela, as he tried to score the winning run.
Pérez recorded the out but limped into the locker room nursing an apparent left knee injury.
Venezuela’s pitcher, Francisco Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers, also had to be helped off the field after hurting himself on the relay throw to the plate. Team Venezuela went on to win the game, 11-10, in part thanks to an earlier two-run shot by Pérez, but that’s probably of no comfort to the Royals, who might be starting the season without their All-Star catcher.