Plate umpire hit in mask, leaves early in Anaheim

Plate umpire hit in mask, leaves early in Anaheim

Plate umpire hit in mask, leaves early in Anaheim
ANAHEIM -- Home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg took a hard Torii Hunter foul ball to his facemask, forcing him to leave Saturday's Tigers-Angels game at Angel Stadium early.

Facing hard-throwing Tigers ace Justin Verlander with two outs in the bottom of the second, an inning after his team tacked on four runs to open up the game, Hunter fouled off a 96-mph fastball, hitting Kellogg squarely in the facemask and forcing him down on one knee for several minutes. After being checked on by Angels head trainer Adam Nevala, Kellogg came out of the game, walking out on his own power. Tim Timmons then moved behind the plate, with the umpires going with a three-man crew for the rest of the game.

Throughout the game and shortly thereafter -- and perhaps into Sunday morning -- Kellogg was getting treated in the umpire's room at Angel Stadium while nursing a pretty bad migraine.

"I hope he's all right," Hunter said. "I'm pretty sure he is; he walked out on his own. Hopefully I'll see him [on Sunday]."

Hunter has had the misfortune of being involved in a couple of these incidents this season. On Aug. 15, he hit home-plate umpire Greg Gibson in the face with his cleat while sliding into home, causing a gash above Gibson's left eye and forcing him to also leave the game.

"I just shook my head when it happened," Hunter said. "I'm like, 'Oh, come on, man.' I'm not trying to do anything. It's all unintentional. ... I hate it. I hope he's OK."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.