Royals expect Salvador Perez to be ready for opener

Kansas City expects All-Star catcher Salvador Perez to be ready for its opener at Minnesota on April 3 after tests showed inflammation but no structural damage in his injured left knee.

The Royals are concerned about his hyperextended left elbow, and manager Ned Yost said Perez probably will be ready to play in a week.

Perez was injured Saturday while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He was hurt in a collision at the plate with his Royals backup, Drew Butera, who was playing for Italy.

''The MRI came out really, really good,'' Yost said Wednesday. ''But what's bothering him more than his knee is his left elbow because he kind of hyperextended his left elbow on the tag, too.''

''He's got a little fluid on that, too,'' Yost added. ''That's probably going to delay him a lot more than the knee will cause that's the hand he gets extended on.''

Perez is a four-time All-Star and Gold Glove.

''You think I'm going to miss opening day?'' he said. ''I don't think so.''

NORRIS RELEASED

Derek Norris was released by the Washington Nationals, who reacquired him in December from San Diego for minor league right-hander Pedro Avila. Norris became expendable in February, when the Nationals signed four-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters.

By releasing Norris ahead of a deadline later this week, the Nationals owe him $688,525 in termination pay, instead of his full $4.2 million salary for 2017. Had the club released him later in spring training, the termination pay would have increased to $1,032,787.

''Whatever happens, happens,'' Norris said when Wieters agreed to sign with Washington, ''but as of right now, today, I'm going out and I want to start opening day and start every single day. Obviously that's probably not going to be the way things pan out, but that's the kind of player I am and always will be.''

AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

RAYS 3, RED SOX 3, 9 INNINGS

Boston said AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello will be its opening-day starter against Pittsburgh, the third in three years for the Red Sox after Clay Buchholz in 2015 and David Price last year. Price is likely to start the season on the disabled list because of a sore elbow, and Porcello was chosen over Chris Sale, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in December.

Red Sox prospect Sam Travis hit his third homer, a solo drive, and Andrew Benintendi had a sacrifice fly.

Casey Gillespie hit a solo home run for Tampa Bay.

MARLINS 6, METS 2

Matt Harvey gave up a leadoff double to Dee Gordon in the first and allowed four runs - two earned - and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Tim Tebow singled twice and made a diving catch at the right-field warning track, his best day as a professional baseball player.

Miami's Justin Nicolini gave up three hits in three scoreless innings, and Stephen Fife followed and blanked the Mets over three innings on two hits

TIGERS 8, BRAVES 6

Andrew Romine hit a two-run homer and Justin Upton singled and scored twice for Detroit. Atlanta starter R.A. Dickey gave up six runs - five earned runs - in 4 1/3 innings. Matt Kemp hit a two-run double, and Kurt Suzuki followed with a two-run homer to chase starter Jordan Zimmerman, who has a 15.00 ERA after allowing four runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning.

PIRATES 6, ORIOLES 5

Jameson Taillon allowed one run and two hits in four innings, and David Freese hit RBI double. Ubaldo Jimenez gave up three runs and two hits in 4 2/3 innings.

TWINS 8, CARDINALS 0

Minnesota starter Adalberto Mejia struck out eight and walked none in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits. Joe Mauer hit a two-run double off Mike Leake, who allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.

ASTROS 8, NATIONALS 2

Nationals starter A.J. Cole gave up seven runs, six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings, including home runs by Brian McCann and Jon Kemmer. Joe Nathan pitched a one-hit sixth.

Houston's Joe Musgrove gave up two runs and three hits in four innings.

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