ST. PETERSBURG -- Dodgers reliever Pedro Báez survived a scare Tuesday night when X-rays came back negative after he was struck by a line drive in the seventh inning against the Rays.
He was diagnosed with a right upper leg contusion, and the Dodgers will monitor daily how the injury responds to treatment.
Baez lasted just two pitches into his outing during Los Angeles’ 7-3 win against the Rays. The right-hander had just entered the game in place of starter Clayton Kershaw and inherited runners at second and third with no outs.
Baez's first pitch to Willy Adames was a ball, but Adames connected hard on the following offering, sending the ball screaming up the middle at 102.8 mph, per Statcast, and off Baez's knee. The knock sent Baez toppling to the ground to his left, allowing Daniel Robertson to score from third with Tampa Bay's first run of the game.
“I definitely thought it was a fracture because it hit so hard, but luckily, the X-rays came back negative, and now it's waiting for the day-to-day process to see how I feel,” Baez said through a translator.
The crack of rawhide meeting the outside of Baez’s leg near his knee was loud enough to be heard around the stadium and on the televised broadcast, and it made several of his teammates wince.
“The ball came off the bat pretty hot,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Where it hit him, and just how it ricocheted back toward the dugout, yeah, I was holding my breath.”
Baez remained on the field for several moments as team trainers attended to him, then was helped off the field. He said afterward that he initially was going to try to field the hit until he felt the leg tying up. Less than an hour after it happened, Baez said he already felt “a lot” better.
He was replaced by Scott Alexander with one out in the bottom of the seventh.