Salvador Perez hurt as Kansas City Royals drop series finale at New York Mets 2-1

The New York Mets honored longtime pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden on Sunday. The club retired his No. 16 jersey in a special on-field ceremony before the Mets played host to the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field.

Gooden, who posted a 1.85 ERA in 1985, is a former Cy Young winner and two-time World Series champion. He also knew a few things about pitchers’ duels.

Starting pitchers Cole Ragans and Jose Butto had their own standoff in Sunday’s series finale. They combined for 17 strikeouts across six innings.

The Mets walked away with a 2-1 victory, however, scoring two late runs against Royals reliever Chris Stratton. And the loss included an injury of unknown severity to KC star catcher Salvador Perez (more about that below).

The Royals (10-6), who entered the game leading the American League with 84 runs, were shut down by Butto. They registered two hits and struck out nine times. Butto set a career high for strikeouts as his changeup kept the Royals off-balance.

Ragans matched Butto’s production. In his fourth start, Ragans allowed five hits and struck out eight. He registered 23 swings and six whiffs with his fastball, per Baseball Savant.

Stratton walked four in the eighth inning and the Mets capitalized. Bader drove home star teammate Pete Alonso with an infield single for one of the hosts’ two runs.

The Royals scored a run against Mets closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning. Vinnie Pasquantino hit his second home run of the season.

But the blast came with two away and no one on, and Diaz got Freddy Fermin to pop out to end the game.

Missed previous games of the series?

Game 1: Royals limited to three hits as 7-game winning streak ends vs. Mets

Game 2: Salvador Perez hits 250th career home run in Royals’ 11-7 victory

Here’s more about Sunday’s game:

MJ Melendez denies Mets early run

Ragans ran into some early against the Mets.

In the fourth inning, the Mets had two runners in scoring position. Starling Marte began the inning with a leadoff single. Francisco Lindor followed with another base hit. Then both players moved up an extra 90 feet after Royals outfielder Hunter Renfroe committed a fielding error.

The Mets had set up a prime scoring opportunity. Ragans was forced to deal with Alonso, and he got him to pop out in foul territory.

Ragans wasn’t out of danger yet. Fortunately for the Royals, he got a little help against New York’s next batter, Tyrone Taylor.

Taylor flew out to MJ Melendez in left field. Melendez caught the ball and threw home to catcher Perez. The throw was on target and Perez stood firm to apply the tag as Marte arrived at the plate.

Marte was called out by home plate umpire Chris Segal, so the game remained scoreless. But Perez was hurt in the collision. The inning over thanks to his tag, Perez was checked out on the field by members of the Royals’ training staff.

Salvador Perez suffers groin injury

Perez was injured applying the tag to Marte in the collision at home plate. He left the game and did not return.

After being examined on the field by the KC medical staff, Perez walked gingerly toward the Royals’ dugout. He had a noticeable limp and was replaced by Fermin at catcher in the fifth inning.

Later in the game, the Royals announced Perez had sustained a left-groin and hip injury. He will be further evaluated on Monday.

Next on the KC Royals’ schedule

The Royals next begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

Seth Lugo will pitch Monday’s series opener against Eric Fedde at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Central Time.

Lugo allowed one earned run in 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox on April 4.