ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre left Tuesday’s game in the bottom of the eighth inning after he was hit in the batting helmet by a 92-mph fastball from Boston's Vicente Padilla.
Initial concussion exams came back as “normal,” but Beltre will continue to be evaluated. It's unclear if he'll be in the lineup on Wednesday, but he spoke to reporters after the game.
"It sounded bad when it hit me," Beltre said. "But it should be OK."
The ball bounced high into the air after hitting the left side of Beltre’s helmet. The veteran fell to his knees as athletic trainer Jamie Reed and manager Ron Washington rushed out to the field. Beltre got to his feet pretty quickly and started to walk toward first, but Reed helped escort him to the dugout and into the clubhouse.
Beltre was hit on an 0-2 pitch that got away from Padilla, which he doesn't believe was intentional. The veteran pitcher does have a history of hitting players. He even did that while pitching for the Rangers.
"I don't think he was trying to hit me," Beltre said. "I don't think in that situation, 1-1, eighth inning, man on third he was trying to hit me. I looked at the video and the catcher was setting up away, so he maybe he was trying to throw it a little harder than he normally throws it and it got away from him."
Several of Beltre's teammates said they didn't believe the pitch was intentional either, but they were relieved Beltre was OK.
When the ball bounces off his head like that, you know it got him square," David Murphy said. "It seems like we wear pretty good helmets, but there’s been plenty of concussions lately in Major League Baseball. You hate to lose a player like that. Adrian’s a gamer and he’s a guy that is going to beg to be in the lineup if he has to or tell Wash to put him in the lineup."