Plate ump O'Nora hit by foul ball, exits Cards-Mets game
NEW YORK (AP) — Plate umpire Brian O'Nora has left the St. Louis Cardinals-New York Mets game after getting hit in the groin by a foul ball.
Matt Carpenter fouled off a pitch from New York starter Noah Syndergaard in the third inning Saturday night, and the ball bounced up and hit O'Nora. He staggered but stayed on his feet, and was checked by a Mets athletic trainer.
The 56-year-old O'Nora initially remained in the game following a brief pause to gather himself. But a few pitches later, with Dexter Fowler at the plate, the veteran ump headed for the Mets dugout in discomfort with his hand covering his mouth.
Both teams came off the field during a delay that lasted about 10 minutes as first base umpire Chad Whitson went inside to put on protective gear. He moved behind the plate, and the game resumed with three umps.
It was the latest in a rash of injuries and health issues for umpires lately.
Three games in one day recently were completed with crews short. Mike Muchlinski replaced Jim Wolf for the rest of this weekend's Indians-Tigers series in Detroit because Wolf is tending to a medical situation, Major League Baseball said Saturday. He exited the series opener Friday night in the first inning.
And it wasn't the first time O'Nora had to leave a game at Citi Field.
An intestinal tear forced him to make a sudden exit from a Phillies-Mets game in April 2013. O'Nora went to a hospital to be examined and missed time while recovering.
O'Nora worked his first big league game in 1992 and has been on the major league staff since 1999.