Justin Turner leaves spring training game after getting hit in head by pitch

Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers game began with a terrifying moment in the bottom of the first inning.

Batting third in the lineup, Justin Turner was hit in the face by a pitch from right-hander Matt Manning and fell down, blood pouring from his face.

Turner was able to stand and walk off the field with a trainer, but kept a towel over his face as he headed straight down the tunnel to the clubhouse.

Niko Kavadas, the organization’s 2022 Minor League Player of the Year, replaced Turner at first. Kiké Hernández (leadoff single) and Rafael Devers (walk) were already on base.

The Red Sox provided an update about an hour later:

“Justin Turner was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation after being hit in the face by a pitch. He’s receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries, and is being monitored for a concussion. He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert, and in good spirits given the circumstances.”

The “soft tissue” detail is noteworthy and encouraging.

Turner, a longtime Dodgers star, joined the Red Sox as a free agent this offseason. He’s expected to be the everyday designated hitter and play some first and third. He signed a one-year, $15 million guaranteed contract with a player option for 2024.

This is a developing story and will be updated as the situation progresses. 

Justin Turner leaves the game after getting drilled in the face. #redsox

— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) March 6, 2023

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