Junior Lake crashes into Wrigley door
CHICAGO -- Cubs center fielder Junior Lake left Thursday night's 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals in the top of the second inning with head and leg contusions after a scary crash into a Wrigley Field door in right-center field.
Lake was tracking down a ball off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman when he ran into the door that leads to the Cubs' indoor batting cages. His leg and then face smashed into the metal door, which is not covered by ivy, as the ball bounced away for a double.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Lake would be OK but would be re-evaluated Friday. Lake showed no signs of a concussion, the Cubs said.
Lake remained face-down on the ground for several moments as the Cubs training staff ran out to assist him. Eventually he was able to stand and walk off the field under his own power.
Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano was first on the scene coming over from right field and retrieving the ball.
"He hit that thing really hard," said Ruggiano, whose two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning broke a tie and delivered the winning run. "I don't think he slowed down at all. He wasn't moving at first. That was kind of scary, but then he started responding. All of a sudden he came to and he wanted to play."
Nate Schierholtz replaced Lake in the lineup, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
"Junior is a gamer," starter Travis Wood said. "He's going to give you everything he's got when he's on the field. You appreciate that.""Last year, too," Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro said. "Once in Arizona and twice in Colorado. I said, 'Hey, you're not in the Dominican. You have to be careful. Don't kill yourself.' "
Apparently there aren't as many fences or walls in Dominican fields, where Castro said "you can run all day."
But Castro wasn't surprised that Lake went all out.
"I saw that I think he broke something," Castro said. "He wanted to stay in the game."
Ruggiano said he was worried at first before Lake quickly regained his senses despite the sound he made and the violent nature of the collision.
"There's not really a safe place to hit out there," Ruggiano said. "You guys heard that because it was a metal door. I'm pretty sure everyone in the stadium heard that."
Fog moved into the area in the late innings, making for more challenges in the field.
Nationals center fielder Denard Span completely lost a Luis Valbuena drive that landed behind him for a triple in the sixth inning. An inning earlier, Castro started a double play on a ball hit by Danny Espinosa and said he barely saw the ball when making the play.
"As long as the ball stayed lower than the lights it was alright," Ruggiano said. "It's kind of fun because it mixes it up a little bit."