Profar carted off after scary outfield collision

July 8th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres’ celebration Thursday night was more muted than typical after a walk-off victory -- with good reason. One of their teammates was not there to share it.

Padres left fielder , who was carted off the Petco Park field in the fifth inning after a violent collision with shortstop C.J. Abrams, was undergoing tests at a nearby hospital when Jorge Alfaro delivered a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure a 2-1 victory over the Giants.

“No tingling or anything in the arms,” manager Bob Melvin said after getting a postgame update on Profar’s condition. “I think what we’re worried about most is a concussion at this point, but they’re checking everything out.”

With one out in the top of the fifth inning, Tommy La Stella hit a popup to short left field. Profar sprinted in as Abrams ran out to the ball. As Abrams caught the ball, Profar slid on the grass. Abrams was unable to avoid him, and the shortstop’s left knee caught Profar square on the jaw.

Profar’s head snapped back, and he lay on the field for several minutes while attended to by the Padres’ athletic trainers. Profar eventually got to his feet, but as he attempted to walk off the field, he fell to the ground on the edge of the infield dirt near second base.

At that point, Petco Park EMTs came onto the field and more medical personnel attended to Profar. Profar was responsive during this time and flashed his trademark smile before he was taken off the field.

“I was just trying to go catch it,” Abrams said. “I didn’t hear anything; the crowd was loud. Next thing you know, we just ran into each other. ... Hopefully, he’s OK.”

Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove was working on a no-hitter at the time -- he wound up pitching seven innings of one-hit ball -- and was unaware of the force of the collision in real time.

“I didn’t realize the severity of it until I saw the slow-motion replay after I came out of the game,” Musgrove said. “... The spirits he was in and the cognizance he had when he left the field is a really good sign.”

Melvin said Profar never lost consciousness.

“It’s just an awful feeling anytime you put somebody on a stretcher like that,” Melvin said. “Just looking at him, the way he is -- trying to make everybody feel OK about it with a smile on his face -- makes you feel a little bit better.”

Alfaro’s game-winner was his third walk-off hit of the year -- the most by a Padres batter since B.J. Upton also had three in 2016. Pinch-hitting, he drilled a long single to the left-center-field gap on an 0-1 changeup from left-hander Jarlín García.

Manny Machado, who turned 30 on Wednesday, hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to open the scoring, his first long ball since he returned June 30 from a left ankle sprain, spanning seven games.

LaMonte Wade Jr. broke up Musgrove’s no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the sixth inning, and Brandon Crawford prevented a combined shutout with a two-out RBI single off closer Taylor Rogers in the ninth.

The postgame handshakes were quick. Abrams, meanwhile, was grateful he got a quick moment with Profar after the collision.

“We gave each other knuckles,” Abrams said. “I’ll see him later.”