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Renato Nunez exits with apparent knee injury

@JoeTrezz
March 14, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A new wrinkle formed in the competition for the Orioles’ third base job Thursday, when Opening Day hopeful Renato Nunez was removed from Baltimore’s game against the Twins with an apparent knee injury. Batting against Minnesota lefty Adalberto Mejia in the fourth, Nunez fouled a pitch hard

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A new wrinkle formed in the competition for the Orioles’ third base job Thursday, when Opening Day hopeful Renato Nunez was removed from Baltimore’s game against the Twins with an apparent knee injury.

Batting against Minnesota lefty Adalberto Mejia in the fourth, Nunez fouled a pitch hard off the inside of his right knee. The Orioles’ training staff then attended to Nunez, who was slow to get up but eventually finished the at-bat by singling to left. Baltimore skipper Brandon Hyde removed Nunez a batter later after he’d hobbled to third in front of an Austin Hays double.

Christopher Bostick replaced Nunez on the bases and at third base.

The team didn’t immediately provide an update on Nunez, who entered camp the favorite at third after hitting .275 with a .781 OPS across 60 games for the Orioles in 2018. But the 24-year-old has been pushed by Rio Ruiz, who came into play Wednesday hitting .345/.444/.655 in Grapefruit League play. Nunez, for his part, used that single off Mejia to raise his spring average to .207 across 11 games. He’s also been outplayed defensively by Ruiz.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.