OAKLAND, Calif. — In a play that didn’t need to happen, Ty France, the Mariners’ best hitter, injured his left arm in a collision while playing first base and was forced to leave the game in the fifth inning.
With two outs, Oakland’s Sheldon Neuse hit a soft ground ball to third base. Abraham Toro fielded the ball with his bare hand, firing to first base on the run. The throw leaked toward the home plate side of the base. As France stretched to grab the ball, his glove collided with Neuse. His arm was pulled back awkwardly and he crumpled to the dirt in pain.
Manager Scott Servais and head athletic trainer Kyle Torgerson were quickly on the field to check on France, who was eventually was helped to his feet and left the field cradling his arm.
After the game, Servais said that X-rays came back negative and that France would undergo an MRI on Friday in Anaheim.
“Just talking to our trainers we are cautiously optimistic that maybe it’s not as bad as it looked,” Servais said.
France was equally optimistic.
“I didn’t hear him or see him coming,” France said. “I threw my arm out there and heard a crack, but I think that was my knuckle popping type of thing. It’s a little stiff right now, but that’s because I iced it and everything. Honestly, the morning will be the real test.”
France wants to avoid a trip to the injured list.
“All the strength is there,” he said. “We are playing good baseball right now and I’m feeling good at the plate. Hopefully, I’m able to get back out there.”
So, why did the play not need to happen?
Well, on the previous pitch to Neuse, Mariners starter Robbie Ray threw a 95-mph fastball down the middle that home plate umpire Nic Lentz called a ball. It would’ve been strike three that ended the inning.