KANSAS CITY -- The look of Victor Martinez crumpled to the ground Tuesday night, having taken a Kelvin Herrera pitch off his right kneecap, was more frightening for Tigers fans than it was for Martinez. He's fine, he said, after the eighth-inning hit-by-pitch.
It was Martinez's 999th career RBI, and his first on a hit-by-pitch. It was an RBI the hard way, and the only run the Tigers produced out of six plate appearances with the bases loaded. But it doesn't appear it will cost Martinez any time.
"I'll be ready to go tomorrow," Martinez said after the 8-6 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Martinez was fortunate the pitch from Herrera was a slider, and not the fastball. Herrera threw 98-mph fastballs on his previous two pitches, and was trying to take advantage of speeding up Martinez's bat. The 83-mph slider got too far in, striking Martinez's front leg.
Martinez went to the ground in pain as head athletic trainer Kevin Rand charged out from the dugout. Martinez stayed down for a couple minutes, got back up to his feet and eventually trotted to first.
"I knew right when it hit me it wasn't something serious. It was sore," he said. "The pain from the hit, that was it. [And] burning. If you ever got hit by a baseball, it burns."
Said manager Brad Ausmus: "As he was sitting on the ground, the feeling came back pretty quickly."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.