Salvador Perez (knee) out of WBC; MRI shows no structural damage

GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Kansas City Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez will miss the remainder of the World Baseball Classic after suffering a knee contusion in Venezuela's 11-10 win over Italy on Saturday.

Perez injured his left knee in a home plate collision with Drew Butera, Perez's backup with the Royals. Venezuela rallied to beat Italy on Martin Prado's 10th-inning double.

Italy's Butera stumbled into Perez to end the ninth inning with the score tied at 10. Butera appeared to try to limit 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.

Team Venezuela said in a statement that an MRI revealed no damage other than inflammation that resulted from the contusion.

Perez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to put Venezuela ahead 10-8. Perez is a four-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner and has averaged 137.5 games per season behind the plate over the past four years. The 2015 World Series MVP had surgery in 2012 to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee.

Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez was also injured on the play. The Venezuelan right-hander made a relay toss to Perez and then fell to the ground.

"Francisco Rodriguez pulled a groin, but he said it's a cramp and that he's going to be OK," Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel said. "I talked to him and he said that he is fine."

Prado, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, brought home Houston's Jose Altuve with his double 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 place with a better run differential, while Mexico (0-1) is last in the group of four. The top two teams will advance to the next round.

"The meaning of the win is huge because there is no tomorrow, and we needed the win no matter what," Vizquel said. "I've played many games in my career, but this one is on the top three because we were able to rally against a tremendous opponent that never had the guard down. I did not know that the Italians can play ball like that."

Venezuela plays Mexico on Sunday and Puerto Rico faces Italy.

"When you play in a three-game tournament, each one is important, and the next game will be no different," Italy manager Marco Mazzieri said. "We know that Puerto Rico has a great team, full of stars, but if we play well, we have a shot. We can't go out tomorrow thinking about how great their ballplayers are because if we do that, maybe it would be better not to show to play."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.