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X-rays negative on Perez's left foot

PITTSBURGH -- Braves right-hander Williams Perez limped out of PNC Park late Friday wearing a protective boot and feeling fortunate that he seemingly escaped a significant injury when a Josh Harrison comebacker drilled his left foot during the fifth inning of Friday night's 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Pirates.

But the Braves certainly had reason to regret the decision to allow Perez to continue pitching after he fell face down in front of the mound after getting hit.

The rookie hurler rose after being tended to for a few minutes and threw a few warmup pitches that proved to be convincing enough for head athletic trainer Jeff Porter and manager Fredi Gonzalez.

"I told them the truth, I felt fine at the time, but slowly it started to hurt a little more," Perez said. "It got a little stiff."

It did not take long to realize Perez was not right. He issued a two-out walk to Neil Walker and then balked him to second before ending his night by hitting Andrew McCutchen with a pitch.

This sequence of events prompted the entry of Luis Avilan, who surrendered a two-run Pedro Alvarez single that accounted for Pittsburgh's only runs until Jordy Mercer doubled off Jason Grilli to end the extra-inning contest.

"When I first got hit, I thought it was a lot more serious," Perez said. "I thought I might have broken my foot, but thank God it wasn't that serious and hopefully, I'll be out there soon."

Perez was placed in the walking boot after X-rays taken of his left foot instep were negative. Though a fracture was not found, the Braves know there is a chance that the lingering swelling and discomfort could prevent Perez from making his next scheduled start on Thursday against the Nationals.

If Perez is unable to make the start, the Braves would have the option to promote either Mike Foltynewicz or Manny Banuelos from Triple-A Gwinnett.

"We feel like we might have dodged a bullet, but again we'll see how it materializes tomorrow, maybe with more swelling or something will come up," Gonzalez said. "We're going to wait. But yeah, I thought it was going to be more serious."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast.
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