Tigers catcher Alex Avila took a Steve Pearce foul ball off of his face mask at the beginning of the top of the sixth inning. He attempted to get back to his feet but appeared woozy. After briefly being tended to by a trainer, Avila left the ballgame and was replaced behind the plate by Bryan Holaday.
This is not exactly new for Avila. The 27-year-old catcher has suffered from concussions in each of the past two seasons, caused by foul balls and backswings to his helmet and facemask. Given what we know about concussions now, it’s nice to see the Tigers and Avila quickly opt to exercise caution.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”