Detroit Tigers’ Reese Olson exits game after being hit by comebacker in second inning

Detroit Free Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Detroit Tigers right-hander Reese Olson, who made his MLB debut at the beginning of June, exited Thursday’s series finale against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the second inning with a left knee contusion.

A comebacker hit Olson in the left leg.

“X-rays are negative, which is good,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said after Thursday’s 8-5 win. “It was a contusion, which doesn’t sound as bad as it probably hurts. We’ll see over the next couple of days what it’s like.”

“I’m optimistic,” Olson said. “I think I’ll be ready to go.”

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Olson threw a second-pitch 95.6 mph fastball to Josh Smith with two outs in the second inning. The ball — hit with a 103.5 mph exit velocity — shot up the middle and deflected off Olson’s left leg.

The 23-year-old immediately dropped to the mound.

“It hurt pretty bad,” Olson said.

Olson stayed down while receiving attention from Hinch and head athletic trainer Ryne Eubanks. He tried to walk off the injury once he stood up, which led to a long conversation with Hinch and Eubanks.

“You don’t know in the moment with adrenaline going,” Olson said, “but the thought process was not wanting to have the mechanics in my lower half mess up anything with my upper half.”

Eventually, Olson and Eubanks walked off the field together, with Olson departing on his own power. Left-handed reliever Tyler Holton replaced him and struck out Marcus Semien on three pitches to end the second inning.

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The Tigers lost two of their starters to mid-game injuries in the four-game series at Globe Life Field.

Left-hander Matthew Boyd departed Monday’s series opener with left elbow discomfort, and two days later, he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. Right-handed reliever Will Vest suffered a right lower leg strain in Monday’s game, too.

In six games (five starts), Olson has a 4.78 ERA with seven walks and 30 strikeouts across 26⅓ innings. He struck out a career-high nine batters last Friday against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park.

He made his MLB debut June 2.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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