The Orioles used a seven-run third inning to build a double-digit lead over the Red Sox early on Easter Sunday en route to an 11-3 win and a season-opening sweep at Fenway Park. But it didn’t come without some injury concern.
That concern centered on left fielder Austin Hays, who left with right hamstring discomfort after contributing a two-run double in the third. The extent of the injury was not immediately clear. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Hays would be re-evaluated Monday, when they open a three-game series against the Yankees in New York.
Hamstring injuries are soft-tissue injuries that often require several weeks to heal and sometimes linger, depending on the severity. Orioles outfielder DJ Stewart has been sidelined since tweaking his left hamstring on March 5. O’s officials downplayed the severity at first. Four weeks later, Stewart had progressed to simulated game action but had run out of time to make the Opening Day roster, and he began the year on the injured list.
Hays was not made available to discuss his injury.
Hays suffered the injury diving back into second base ahead of a throw from Enrique Hernández, who trapped Cedric Mullins' line-drive single in center field in the third. Hays was replaced by Pat Valaika.
Dynamic but injury-prone, Hays has missed significant time to injuries over the past several seasons, including a month in 2020 due to a broken rib. He has also endured ankle, shoulder, wrist and leg issues. Hays is a .269 hitter with nine homers in 77 big league games.
Hays arrived at Spring Training fully healthy and enjoyed the most productive camp of any Oriole, hitting .392 with four homers and a 1.192 OPS in 18 games. He started in left field in each of Baltimore's first three regular-season games, sliding Ryan Mountcastle to designated hitter at Fenway Park with its difficult outfield dimensions. Hays went 2-for-10, including a line-drive double off Josh Taylor on Sunday.