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Winker dealing with left back, side tightness

@m_sheldon
July 14, 2019

DENVER -- Reds right fielder Jesse Winker was forced to leave Sunday’s 10-9 loss to the Rockies after feeling something in his side while taking a swing in the sixth inning. Winker was batting with two outs in the top of the sixth against reliever Jesus Tinoco when he swung

DENVER -- Reds right fielder Jesse Winker was forced to leave Sunday’s 10-9 loss to the Rockies after feeling something in his side while taking a swing in the sixth inning.

Winker was batting with two outs in the top of the sixth against reliever Jesus Tinoco when he swung at a 2-1 slider. He pointed to his left side and upon being checked out by head trainer Steve Baumann, exited the game.

“My lower left back, side area tightened up,” Winker said. “I was feeling some tightness in my right rib cage as well.”

There was a brief delay while pitcher Sonny Gray put on spikes to pinch-hit. Gray saw one pitch from Tinoco and fanned for a strikeout that was charged to Winker, who finished 1-for-4 with a two-run infield single to second base in the second inning.

Jose Peraza, who slugged a pinch-hit two-run home run earlier in the inning to close Cincinnati’s deficit to one run, took over in left field for the bottom of the sixth. Phillip Ervin, who started in left field, moved to right field.

Winker first noticed the issue during his previous swing vs. Tinoco, but he has not been dealing with any issues in that area of his body.

“This has never happened to me before in my life. It was kind of shocking,” Winker said. “Hopefully, it’s just like a spasm and tightness. We’ll evaluate it [Monday].”

Over 83 games this season, Winker is batting .250/.328/.462 with 13 home runs and 29 RBIs. He already began treatment before the club departed Coors Field to continue the road trip at Chicago on Monday.

“I really hope it’s nothing serious,” Winker said. “Obviously, I don’t want to go on the IL or whatever. I’m hoping I avoid that. Right now, I’m hoping it’s not as bad. We’ll just see tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll wake up, it feels better and we’ll evaluate it and go from there.”

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.