Perez OK after collision with Maybin in 9th
PITTSBURGH -- Braves outfielders Eury Perez and Cameron Maybin broke for the ball, and while neither came up with the catch, they're lucky no bones were broken.
In the bottom of the ninth of the Braves' 2-1 win over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park, Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer drove a Jason Grilli fastball to the left-center-field warning track.
In a two-run game with two outs, both Perez and Maybin tried desperately to get to the ball. Instead, the two collided, as Maybin's 6-foot-3 frame barreled into Perez's 180-pound body.
Maybin was fine, but Perez laid on the warning track holding his torso for a few minutes before leaving the game on his own power. He was replaced in the field by Joey Terdoslavich. After evaluation in the clubhouse, Perez's stomach and ribs checked out without injury.
"I was a little nervous. I thought we were going to lose two players out there," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We dodged a bullet there."
Perez, who came into the game in left field as a defensive substitution in the eighth inning, said through a translator that he didn't hear anyone else going for the ball, but knew after the play that he wasn't seriously hurt.
The collision did cost Atlanta a run as Mercer reached second and scored Francisco Cervelli from first. However, Grilli settled in and struck out pinch-hitter Gregory Polanco to avoid a three-game sweep.
Even though neither came up with the catch, the Braves' closer admired the efforts of Perez and Maybin, and was thankful they avoided injury.
"We're playing for each other. We've got each others' backs and going hard," Grilli said. "I'm glad everyone is OK. That's the most important thing."