The Canadian Press
TORONTO–It was a bizarre collision that Justin Smoak believes Randal Grichuk probably didn’t see coming–and the one negative on an otherwise solid afternoon for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Smoak hit his team-leading 24th home run of the season as the Jays beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 yesterday afternoon.
But the Jays lost Grichuk to injury in the fourth inning when he collided with a security guard while trying to field a foul ball.
Grichuk went face-first into the guard’s stool and appeared to injure his nose.
“I peeked at him and I saw him sliding, trying to make a play there so I peeled out,” said Smoak, who had a front-row seat of incident.
“All of a sudden I heard him get clocked with a chair in the face.
“Scary right there for a second but hopefully he’s all right,” Smoak added.
Teoscar Hernandez also had a homer for the Jays (65-78). Hernandez came out of the dugout after Grichuk left the game.
Grichuk, who sent the security guard flying, was down for several minutes. Initial concussion tests were negative but the Jays said he will be evaluated further today.
Grichuk also has been diagnosed with multiple facial cuts but no fractures.
“I saw him in the clubhouse between innings and before I came out here, and he was grinning,” Jays’ manager John Gibbons said.
“He was laughing a bit so that was a good sign.
“He’s a pretty boy, you don’t want to hurt that face,” he quipped.
Thomas Pannone (2-1) delivered a quality start for Toronto. He gave up two runs, four hits, two walks, and two homers over six and one-third innings.
“I got ahead of a lot of guys and my curveball was working really well,” he noted.
“With my change-up I got a lot of weak contact on it,” Pannone added. “I just kept the lineup moving.”
In two home starts, the Jays’ pitching prospect has a combined 1.35 earned run average and has surrendered just five hits and five walks while striking out five batters.
“He did a tremendous job. There’s got to be some sort of deception there I don’t know what it is,” Gibbons said of Pannone and his pitching.
Ken Giles earned the save.
Francisco Lindor and Brandon Barnes homered for Cleveland (81-62).