8/22/2013 1:24 A.M. ET
Stassi plunked in face for first career RBI
Astros rookie hospitalized after leaving game in eighth inning
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Max Stassi left Wednesday night's 5-4 loss at Rangers Ballpark in the eighth inning after he was hit in the face by a pitch. He was sent to a hospital after the incident for further evaluation. Stassi was expected to remain there overnight.
The bases were loaded when the designated hitter was drilled on the first pitch, a 96-mph fastball, from Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers, giving the Astros rookie a very painful first career RBI. The ball deflected off his shoulder and into his mouth, causing him to bleed. Stassi's helmet flew off, and he was attended to by the training staff and Astros manager Bo Porter.
"It was a scary situation," Porter said. "I think it hit him in the shoulder and then the face, so that probably lessened the blow. It was frightening. They brought him straight in and took him to the hospital."
"I was inside when I saw it; it wasn't pretty," starting pitcher Erik Bedard said. "I saw him when he came back here, and he was a little dazed. I feel for him. You never want to get hit in the face. Hopefully he comes back as soon as he can."
Sunday's starter Dallas Keuchel pinch-ran for Stassi before Jason Frasor relieved Scheppers and struck out Brett Wallace to keep the game tied at 4.
"He's a tough competitor," Keuchel said. "You never want to see that happen. I don't think Scheppers was aiming for him at all. That's just bad luck."
It's been a rough two days to start Stassi's career. He was tagged out at second base on a baserunning blunder after recording his first Major League hit Tuesday. Stassi thought he was out at second and walked back to the dugout when he was tagged out.
The club will update the situation after Stassi is evaluated on Thursday's off-day.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.