Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck prematurely exited against the Yankees after taking a line drive to his face in a scary scene mid-way through Friday’s contest at Fenway Park.
Houck, making his 13th start of the season, was in the midst of a solid outing as Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka approached the plate to start the fifth inning.
Higashioka made contact with a 92 mph sinker from Houck on his fourth pitch, sending the ball flying back into the right-hander’s face at a reported exit velocity of 89.7 mph. Houck immediately went down and clutched his face as Boston’s training staff tended to him on the mound.
After a few moments, Houck, sporting a bloodied right cheek, walked off the field under his own power. Boston later announced Houck has been diagnosed with a facial contusion, per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.
Scary situation in Boston as Tanner Houck gets hit in the face.
Prayers for him and hoping everything is alright. pic.twitter.com/nva2QBwLgk
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken2) June 17, 2023
In four innings of work, Houck surrendered just one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two. His exit came in the midst of Boston’s drubbing of New York, a 13–1 win in Game 1 of their second three-game series in the past week.
It’s unclear if Houck will miss extended time following the injury. On the season, Houck (3–6) has posted a 5.05 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 13 starts.