In an opening month in which not much has gone the Orioles' way, they received a major scare in the eighth inning of their series opener against the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Camden Yards.
The sight of left fielder Trey Mancini writhing on the ground in pain while holding his right knee after colliding with the wall in foul ground was one of the worst they could imagine amid their slow start.
Mancini's status for Saturday's game is uncertain. X-rays were performed, manager Buck Showalter said, adding that Mancini also suffered a puncture in the collision that will likely require stitches.
"We'll see how he is for tomorrow, but for him to come out of the game — it got pretty stiff," Showalter said.
Mancini, who has been one of the team's most consistent offensive contributors and provided Showalter with an unconventional but capable leadoff hitter, was pursuing Yonder Alonso's fly ball in foul ground when he made a sliding attempt on the edge of the warning track dirt, which carried his momentum into a padded wall.
His right knee took the brunt of the impact, hitting a small area of the wall underneath the padding. Mancini then fell back, immediately holding his knee and rolling on the dirt in pain.
"The slide and the wall and everything like that, you just never know," said Orioles reliever Richard Bleier, who was on the mound at the time. "You see so many times guys get hung up in there and pull their knee back or whatever and I'm just glad he was able to walk off the field and hopefully he's OK."
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Mancini was evaluated on the field by head athletic trainer Brian Ebel and Showalter, but left the game walking off under his own power, and was replaced by Craig Gentry.
"We just had him run a little bit [to test the knee]," Showalter said. "He said, 'I just don't think I'm going to be able to do what needs to be done here,' not exactly those words though."
Earlier this month, Mancini was hit in the right middle finger when he fouled a 95 mph pitch off his hand, but he remained in the game and didn't miss any time.
On Friday, Mancini provided the Orioles with a two-run, go-ahead double that broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. Hitting .284 on the season, Mancini is hitting .328 in 14 games since moving to the leadoff position.
"It was bad," shortstop Manny Machado said. "It was bad. With this cold and sliding into that brick wall, it's no fun. That hurts. Hopefully everything's all right and it comes back negative. We need him. He's a big part of this team and hopefully he's all right."