HOUSTON — Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. hit his team-high 12th homerun of the season Tuesday night, but left before the game was over after taking a pitch to the hand against the Houston Astros.
“It’s the third time I’ve been hit on this hand,” Witt said. “I’ve luckily been able to come back from those, I trust our trainers and staff with what they do. So I’ll try to get some sleep, try to get ready for tomorrow.”
In the top of the 9th inning, Witt took a 97-mph fastball to his right hand that hit him right in the knuckle.
Initial x-rays came back positive, but his hand will be reassessed on Wednesday. Manager Mike Matheny pulled Witt out of the game mid-at-bat due to the evident swelling to his hand.
“He wanted to [stay in],” Matheny said. “Without knowing what we’re dealing with, it’s just not a good move. And after seeing how it did square him up, how swollen it was, you don’t want to take an extra swing. … Squared him up pretty good. There was a lot of swelling right away. Not a great spot.”
Before exiting, Witt took the team lead in homeruns in the top of the third inning. Witt and fellow rookie MJ Melendez now lead active players in homeruns with Salvador Perez (11) on the injury list.
Melendez hit his ninth homerun in the top of the second inning.
The standout-rookie duo mad plays on defense as well as they continue their impressive rookie campaigns.
The Royals went on to lose the game 9-7 and will play Game 2 against the Astros on Wednesday. It is unsure at this time whether Witt will be available, pending results from the additional assessments.