Justin Turner had managed to shake off being hit by a pitch in four consecutive games entering Friday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds, but he succumbed to self-inflicted damage in the third inning.
In just his second at-bat of the game, Turner fouled a pitch off his left shin. The jolt of pain caused him to stagger across home plate and gingerly walk back into the batter’s box. Turner grounded out and remained in the field for the third and fourth innings.
He was immediately tested in the bottom of the third and kept Rich Hill’s early bid for a no-hitter intact by making a barehanded play on Jose Peraza’s soft roller up the third-base line. However, Turner was pinch-hit for when he was due to bat in the fifth inning.
The Dodgers announced his early exit was due to a left shin contusion, and manager Dave Roberts said after the win X-Rays came back negative. Turner explained why he eventually was unable to continue playing and touched on the uncanny ability to get hit wherever protective padding isn’t covering, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“It swelled up huge,” Turner said after the Dodgers’ 6-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. “I mean, it looked like a baseball was coming out of my shin.”
“The one thing that’s consistent is it never hits the shin guard,” Turner said. “You wear all that stuff and it hit right above it. So none of them feel good but, hopefully, do as much as I can tonight and come back and feel better tomorrow.”
Roberts already made it clear Turner will not be in Saturday’s lineup. The Dodgers face somewhat of a short turnaround as the series finale will be played at 1:10 p.m. local time in Cincinnati.
If the Dodgers are able to lighten the workload on Turner for the remainder of the series, he would then benefit from an off day on Monday. The 34-year-old is batting .285/.382/.437 with five doubles, six home runs and 21 RBI. He’s appeared in 42 of 46 games this season.