St. Petersburg, Fla. — Tigers center fielder Derek Hill was carted off the field in the fifth inning of the Tigers’ 4-3 win Saturday after he hyperextended his left knee crossing first base.
Leading off the inning, Hill dropped a bunt. Running at full speed, he hit the bag with his left heel and lost his balance. He spun and landed hard on the back of his head.
He lay motionless for several seconds while the Tigers’ training staff tended to him. He was carted off the field, then wheelchaired through the tunnel underneath the stadium.
“Derek was banged up pretty good,” manager AJ Hinch said afterward. “There is concern about his left knee. He hyperextended it. He was uncomfortable so we didn’t even waste time trying to walk him off the field.
“I don’t know how he avoids the injured list given where we are in the season.”
Hill was undergoing tests on the knee after the game. There was no head injury, which is the only positive to come out of it.
“That sucked,” catcher Dustin Garneau said. “Derek is one of our high-octane guys on the field and in the dugout…You never want to see your teammate on the ground and hurt like that. It can definitely suck the wind out of a team, and it did for a little bit.”
This is the third on-field injury Hill has sustained this season. He sprained his shoulder at Comerica Park in June crashing into the center field wall making a tremendous running catch. Then on Aug. 10, he sustained bruised ribs in a horrific outfield collision with Akil Baddoo.
“It’s an unfortunate play to say the least,” Hinch said.