Cozart evaluated after hurting head, neck

April 23rd, 2019

ANAHEIM -- Angels third baseman left Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Yankees in the 12th inning after an awkward slide back into second base that saw him hit his head into second baseman DJ LeMahieu’s leg. He was still being evaluated after the game.

Cozart reached on a hit-by-pitch from closer Aroldis Chapman to give the Angels two runners with two outs while trailing by a run. Brian Goodwin slapped a game-tying RBI single to center field but Cozart raced back to second after the throw back into the infield. Cozart’s helmet came off as he slid, and after he collided with LeMahieu, he immediately called for help from the athletic training staff at second base.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus wouldn’t say if Cozart was being tested for a concussion, but confirmed that Cozart hurt both his neck and head on the play.

"Zack's being evaluated right now," Ausmus said. "We don't really have a final prognosis for him. His head or helmet hit the knee and he felt it in his neck. His neck kind of jammed out. We should know more soon."

Reliever Felix Pena served as a pinch-runner for Cozart, as the Angels were out of position players and lost the use of the designated hitter. It forced Peter Bourjos to play second base for the first time in his career in the 13th inning with Tommy La Stella moving to third. Bourjos, who had never played in the infield in 1,347 games as a Minor Leaguer or Major Leaguer, made a diving stop and throw to get Brett Gardner in the 13th.

"You know, I didn't have to think about it,” Bourjos said of the play. “I think if it was hit right at me, I would've booted it. That way it was a reaction and I could knock it down and get it over there. I was kind of surprised. I don't know."

Cozart’s injury also caused the Angels to use pitcher Trevor Cahill for the final at-bat of the game, as the Yankees intentionally walked Kole Calhoun to get to him with two outs, and Cahill struck out swinging to end it.