Billed as a battle of two struggling American League East teams, Tuesday night’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays took a scary turn after pitcher J.A. Happ was struck in the head by a line drive. 

The hit came off the bat of Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings’ bat, as the concerned fans at Tropicana Field looked on. Medical personnel quickly rushed to the field to help out Happ and the contest was halted for several minutes following the injury.

(Warning: The video below is not for the squeamish.) 

Major League Baseball’s Twitter feed was among the first to tweet about the horrifying scene, as Happ had to be escorted off the field on a stretcher:

While the extent of his injuries are unknown at this time, Blue Jays play-by-play announcer Mike Wilner noted that Happ’s left arm and hand were bleeding (ostensibly from covering his head):

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune notes that Happ‘s head was immobilized, but his arms were moving when taken off the field:

Happ’s injury happened midway through the second inning, as Jennings’ hit caromed toward right field and resulted in a triple. Two runs scored on the play, giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead.

The left-hander Happ left the game having thrown 1.1 innings and giving up four earned runs on five hits. He was replaced by Brad Lincoln. 

The 30-year-old Happ is in his first full season with Toronto after his trade from the Houston Astros last season, and signed a two-year contract with the team this offseason.

Heading into Tuesday night’s start, Happ was working out perfectly as a back-of-the-line rotation member. He had a 2-2 record with a 3.98 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, all statistics that placed him among the team leaders. 

Toronto is a disappointing 12-21 for the season and was 9.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East coming into Tuesday’s contest.


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