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Perez in jeopardy after giving up 2 HRs

Oliver Perez in spring training. (Feb. 18, 2010)

Oliver Perez in spring training. (Feb. 18, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday file / Thomas A. Ferrara

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Oliver Perez has thrown his last pitch in a Mets uniform, at least he went out in fittingly erratic fashion.

The much-maligned lefthander entered in the seventh inning Saturday with two on and nobody out and gave up back-to-back homers, potentially putting himself in line to follow in Luis Castillo's footsteps and be released any day now.

Manager Terry Collins declined to offer specifics about what's next for Perez, saying he has to huddle with general manager Sandy Alderson and "compare notes" before they make a decision.

That meeting, Collins said, likely would be held Saturday night or Sunday morning .

Alderson did not see Perez's outing against the Nationals at Digital Domain Park because he traveled with the Mets' other split squad to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for a game against the Braves. Perez originally was on the travel roster to make that trip, but Collins decided to keep him here because he thought it was important for him to witness each of Perez's appearances as he attempts to make the club as a lefthanded specialist.

That didn't work out in Perez's favor. He was brought in to face lefthanded-hitting Matt Stairs, but the Nationals sent up pinch hitter Jeff Frazier, who quickly fell behind 0-and-2. But Perez left a flat slider in the middle of the plate, and Frazier lined a laser over the leftfield wall.

Then, with an 0-and-1 count on Brian Bixler, Perez left another flat slider in the middle of the plate, and Bixler hit a solo shot to left.

After only five pitches, the Mets' 7-0 lead suddenly had been cut to three, and it almost got even worse for Perez. After Alberto Gonzalez grounded out, Derek Norris launched a towering fly into the leftfield corner that Jesus Feliciano caught a few feet shy of the wall.

When Perez finally got out of the inning, he was loudly booed by the crowd of 4,942. He jogged off the mound and kept his head down the whole time as he returned to the dugout, breaking stride only to do his trademark hop over the third-base line.

"Those people can say a lot of stuff. I did everything I can," said Perez, who also issued a four-pitch walk to the only lefthanded hitter he faced. "It's one of those days. You're going to have really bad days. I know I don't want to have a really bad day. I have to come here tomorrow and try to get better."

But at this point it's questionable whether there will even be a tomorrow for Perez with the Mets, especially after they released Castillo on Friday, demonstrating that financial commitments made by the previous regime won't factor into roster decisions.

Perez is entering the final year of a three-year, $36-million contract. His Grapefruit League ERA is 8.38 in 92/3 innings.

After cutting Castillo, Collins cited his treatment by the fans as one reason, saying he felt bad that Castillo could go 10 consecutive good days only to see the goodwill he built ruined with one bad one.

The same probably could be said of Perez, and Collins expressed disappointment in the booing Saturday.

"If you walk through your office every day and people are booing you as you walk through -- 5,000 of them -- come on and let's get down to the nature of the whole thing, that doesn't feel good," Collins said. "He's down right now. I just told him, 'Hey, look, it's one of those days.' "

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