Alex Rodriguez was struck in his left leg by a line drive during batting practice Saturday and has been scratched from the Yankees’ lineup against the Red Sox with a contusion near the base of his shin.
With Lance Berkman taking his cuts, Rodriguez was taking ground balls at third base when a hard-hit one-hopper struck the New York slugger below the left knee.
While teammates did not initially believe the injury was serious, Rodriguez seemed stunned by the unexpected blow and staggered into center field, collapsing face-down behind a protective screen.
At one point, Rodriguez was holding his head while writhing in pain. Derek Jeter called for head athletic trainer Gene Monahan from the clubhouse, while Joe Girardi and Reggie Jackson were among those who raced to Rodriguez’s side. Stadium medical personnel also attended.
“I hit it and obviously had a great view of it. I was just [saying], ‘Look out!’” said Berkman, who was batting right-handed. “It was on him. I just remember hitting it and cringing. It was heading right for him. It was hard. I hope he’s not out very long.”
“He’ll be all right,” Jeter said. “He always looks like that when he gets hit.”
After several minutes, Rodriguez was able to limp off the field under his own power with Monahan. Berkman spoke briefly with Rodriguez was helped to the clubhouse.
“I just told him when he was coming off the field, ‘Sorry about that,’” Berkman said. “I clearly didn’t mean to. It wasn’t like I was trying to hit him in the teeth and missed low or something like that. That’s just one of the things about batting practice. I think we’ve all been hit before.”
Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo said that Rodriguez’s left leg has been placed in ice and elevated, and that it is swollen. Team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad is en route to the Stadium, and Rodriguez will have X-rays once a technician arrives.
Rodriguez had been in New York’s original lineup on Saturday, but he was replaced at third base by Ramiro Pena, who will bat ninth.