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McNeil hit by pitch, exits with shin contusion

@AnthonyDiComo
July 28, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Mets lost one of the Majors' leading hitters on Sunday, when Jeff McNeil departed in the first inning of the Mets' 8-7 win over the Pirates after being hit on the right shin by a pitch. McNeil, however, does not expect his injury to linger. X-rays

NEW YORK -- The Mets lost one of the Majors' leading hitters on Sunday, when Jeff McNeil departed in the first inning of the Mets' 8-7 win over the Pirates after being hit on the right shin by a pitch. McNeil, however, does not expect his injury to linger. X-rays taken at Citi Field came back negative, revealing only a contusion.

McNeil said he should be fine to return to the Mets’ starting lineup when they open a three-game series Tuesday in Chicago.

“You’re always a little scared when you get hit, and it hurt pretty bad,” McNeil said. “We thought it was best to not play the rest of the game and see how it feels on Tuesday.”

Facing Chris Archer in the bottom of the first, McNeil took an 89-mph slider off his shin, which was protected by a plastic guard. Although he was in some pain as he walked down the first-base line, McNeil shrugged off manager Mickey Callaway and a member of the training staff when they came out to check on him. He eventually scored on Michael Conforto’s two-run homer, but when McNeil’s lineup spot came up again later in the inning, Aaron Altherr pinch-hit for him.

“It hit that little spot that activates your toes going up and down, and it was pretty stiff,” Callaway said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine in a couple of days, but we’ll continue to monitor him.”

McNeil, who earned his first All-Star nod earlier this month, ranks second in the Majors with a .336 batting average.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.