Pederson, Puig walk off after scary collision

Dodgers center fielder exits in 10th with stiff neck

Pederson, Puig walk off after scary collision

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson got the worst of it in a collision with right-field teammate Yasiel Puig and had to leave Tuesday night's game against the Cardinals in the 10th inning with neck stiffness.

Following the Dodgers' thrilling 2-1 win in 13 innings, manager Dave Roberts said Pederson felt like he "got in a car accident," but the player and club were optimistic the disabled list would not be needed. Pederson said he might only miss one or two games.

"Luckily, nothing too bad," said Pederson. "Hopefully it comes back better tomorrow and I keep working on it from there. It was just a tough ball in the middle of the gap. Part of playing the outfield, sometimes it happens."

Roberts said Pederson passed a concussion protocol. Pederson walked out of the club at a brisk pace but without much head movement on, coincidentally, his bobblehead night.

"He's got cuts on his forehead, his arm, he took an elbow to jaw, hit his head against the wall," Roberts said, giving an inventory of Pederson's injuries. "Right now there's limited range of motion in his neck when he turns to the right. As a left-handed hitter, it's going to get stiffer tomorrow, but right now I don't see it as DL situation."

On the play, Puig actually caught the long fly by Yadier Molina in the right-center gap for the final out of the 10th inning. Pederson went down hard and Puig, after holding up his glove to show he held the ball, collapsed on the warning track next to Pederson.

Several moments after Roberts and two trainers reached the players, they got to their feet and walked off the field. Chris Taylor pinch-hit in the bottom of the inning for Pederson. Puig, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two weekend games with lower back stiffness, remained in the game. He said he had bruised ribs but expected to play Wednesday night.

"We went all out for it. That's just how baseball is," said Puig. "I was the first to get there. When I got there I told him I had it and it was too late."

Roberts said nobody was to blame for the play, although Statcast™ showed that Pederson had a shorter patch to the ball than Puig, who was credited with his first five-star catch of the season. Puig had an 18 percent catch probability on the play, as he needed to go 93 feet in 5.0 seconds, according to Statcast™. Pederson had a 69 percent catch probability and was 87 feet away.

"It was one of those things, where both guys are selling out, not a clear-cut guy to make the play, kind of in no-man's land," said Roberts. "Joc came up on short end of it. Initially, I thought we lost both guys. Two everyday players, to lose to a collision like that, would been very unfortunate. Could been a lot worse."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.