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Rays’ Amed Rosario drilled in face by 99 mph pitch in scary scene

Rays third baseman Amed Rosario had quite the scare Saturday against the Pirates.

Rosario left the game in the bottom of the first inning after being hit in the face by a 99 mph fastball from Pirates rookie Jared Jones, but Tricia Whitaker of Bally Sports reported on the air that Rosario seemed to be “moving in a positive direction” at the moment and described his situation as “better than expected.”

“We’re told Rosario sustained a laceration to his face from being hit by a pitch,” Whitaker said during the bottom of the fourth inning, “but it doesn’t sound like he’s broken any bones, so that’s good news.”

The third pitch Jones threw to Rosario was high and inside.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Amed Rosario reacts after receiving a pitch from Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jared Jones. AP
Rosario was the second batter Jones struck out in the first inning. Getty Images

He was the second batter Jones struck out in the top of the first inning. The rookie, who had 22 walks and two hit by pitch in 79 innings as of Saturday, had also struck out designated hitter Brandon Lowe earlier in the inning.

Jones’ pitch knocked Rosario’s helmet off his head, and he immediately began clutching the wound to his face.

He spent several minutes outside the plate compose himself before eventually being escorted off the field by the Rays’ training staff.

Richie Palacios came in as a pinch runner for Rosario and played second base in the next inning.

Rosario was examined by medical staff and then removed from the field. Getty Images

Jose Caballero, who started the game at second base, slid into third base in place of Rosario.

Rosario, who began his career with the Mets before playing for the Guardians and Dodgers, signed a one-year contract with the Rays in February and is playing second base, third base, shortstop and right field for Tampa Bay, batting .301 in 59 games as of Saturday.

In four years with the Mets in major league baseball from 2017-2020, Rosario batted .268 with a .705 OPS.

Despite scoring one run in the ninth inning and having a runner in scoring position to hit the tying run, the Rays lost to the Pirates, 4-3.

Pittsburgh scored three runs in the third inning off Tampa Bay starter Zach Eflin, and Jones bounced back from a shaky first inning to pitch seven innings to earn the win.