Rendon exits game with neck injury

June 20th, 2017

MIAMI -- 's description of a minor neck injury that forced him out of the Nationals' 8-7 loss to the Marlins on Monday didn't sound favorable, but he and the Nats will have to monitor it going forward.

"It was definitely a little nerve-wracking, a little scary," the third baseman said. "A little jolt of pain. A lot of heat in my neck. A little slowness. We'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Rendon suffered the injury in the bottom of the third inning while diving for a 114-mph line drive smash off the bat of , per Statcast™. He said he felt the pain when he dove to his left before stopping the ball and uncorking a wild throw to first that carried up the line.

The play was pivotal in the game's outcome as well, because two walks later hit a grand slam to tie the game at six.

Rendon himself drilled a solo homer off Marlins start in the second inning.

He was pinch-hit for in the fifth by , who gave the Nationals a 7-6 lead on an RBI double.

"Just trying to be a little cautious, because it didn't feel good the next two innings after that," Rendon said.

Rendon downplayed the injury by calling it "nothing too serious" and Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the club thinks he'll be OK for Tuesday's game, but they didn't want to run the risk of injuring it further Monday night.

"Anybody that's ever hurt their neck, it's not only frightening but it could be a serious thing," Baker said. "So you don't wanna take a chance."

If the injury turns out to be more serious than expected, losing Rendon for an extended period of time would mark a significant loss to the lineup.

Rendon, in fourth place in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot fan vote for National League third basemen, is slashing .289/.388/.530 to go along with 13 homers and 45 RBIs.