D-backs’ Christian Walker exits vs. Reds after taking fastball to helmet

Jun 9, 2022, 12:32 PM | Updated: 1:51 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Christian Walker exited Thursday’s 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds after a pitch struck him in the helmet.

A 96.6 mph fastball from Reds reliever Alexis Diaz in the eighth inning struck Walker’s helmet. Fortunately, it appears the majority of the ball hit Walker’s protective headgear and not his face. Walker stayed on his feet but held his head and immediately went to the dugout to come out of the game.

Walker was previously a victim of taking a pitch in the face in 2018. That gave Walker a sinus fracture and required surgery that had his jaw wired shut.

The designated hitter was replaced by Jake Hager on first base.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game that Walker suffered a facial contusion but appears to be fine beyond that.

Walker entered play on Thursday with a .202 batting average and leads the D-backs with 15 home runs.

D-backs starting pitcher Zach Davies was tagged with the three earned runs but went 6.0 innings with seven strikeouts and six hits allowed.

Arizona trailed the Reds 3-1 through the top of the eighth inning just after Walker departed the game. Pavin Smith’s homer in the fifth was responsible for the D-backs’ lone run.

The Diamondbacks rallied in the ninth, scoring four runs to go ahead 5-3. Reliever Ian Kennedy allowed a solo shot to Matt Reynolds with two outs in the ninth before earning a flyout on the last pitch.

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