Kiermaier exits early, irked by HBP on calf

Rays center fielder leaves in 6th after chasing HR ball

Kiermaier exits early, irked by HBP on calf

ARLINGTON -- Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier had to leave Saturday night's 4-1 victory over the Rangers, and he wasn't pleased with the reason.

He left the game with a left calf contusion that came as a result of getting hit by a pitch in the first inning. Kiermaier wasn't happy; he thought Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis hit him on purpose.

On the first pitch of the at-bat, Kiermaier attempted a bunt but didn't get it down. Lewis then hit him on the calf.

"I watched the video again, and it was clear it was on purpose and he had a problem with me bunting," Kiermaier said. "That's his decision and so be it. ... He hit me flush on my calf, and I still can't get it loose."

Kiermaier gets hit by pitch

Kiermaier said his calf was sore after getting hit and continued to tighten up as the game went on.

"And I told the trainers, I said, 'I'm just letting you guys know right now that I can't sprint,'" Kiermaier said. "Because I know how it felt."

Then Robinson Chirinos led off the Rangers' sixth with a home run to center field that Kiermaier chased.

"I felt like I was giving it a 50 percent effort [after the hit-by-pitch] until that ball Chirinos hit," Kiermaier said. "Instincts took over and I ran for it, and [the calf] about gave out."

After Chirinos rounded the bases, a Rays trainer and manager Kevin Cash went out to check on Kiermaier. A moment later, they accompanied him back to the bench.

"It all comes from the hit-by-pitch in the first, and that makes your muscles really tight," Kiermaier said. "I couldn't get it loose. They thought it was best to take me out. I couldn't run."

Cash and Kiermaier both expressed doubts about him playing in Sunday's season finale.

"I hope it feels better tomorrow," Kiermaier said. "But I don't really know what to expect."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.