CHICAGO — After taking a scary-looking fall during his team’s 7-4 win over the Chicago White Sox Sunday, early indications are that Toronto Blue Jays infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has escaped without significant injury.
According to the club, Gurriel suffered a knee contusion and ankle sprain during the play, both on his left leg. X-rays were negative but Gurriel will undergo an MRI of his knee and ankle Monday in Oakland to determine if he suffered any further soft tissue damage.
Gurriel, who wasn’t wearing a wrap or brace on his left leg, was in good spirits when speaking with teammates after the game, and was walking under his own power with a noticeable limp. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons speculated that Gurriel would be feeling the effects of his injuries in the morning, but was relieved that the situation didn’t result in a worse fate.
“It looked like it was something very serious but he’s moving around okay,” Gibbons said. “I’m sure it’ll tighten up on him and swell up on him. I think it’s already swelling, his ankle.”
There were two outs and a runner on second in the ninth inning Sunday when Gurriel shot a base hit up the middle. The runner scored, and the throw to the plate was cut off at the pitcher’s mound as the White Sox attempted to cut down Gurriel, who was trying to advance to second.
Gurriel twisted in an attempt to avoid a tag from White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, reaching back for the bag as he slide beyond second base. But as Gurriel slid, his left cleat caught in the dirt, bending his knee and ankle awkwardly beneath him. He rolled out of the slide clutching his left leg and stayed down receiving attention from Blue Jays trainers for several minutes.
Once he was back on his feet, Gurriel was helped off the field while walking partly under his own power. He was carted from the Blue Jays clubhouse for X-rays shortly after the game, and appeared to be walking more comfortably — although still with a limp — when he returned.
The Blue Jays will have a better idea of a recovery timeline for Gurriel after his MRI. But with the club needing a roster spot Monday to activate Marco Estrada, it’s likely Gurriel ends up on the disabled list.
It couldn’t come at a worse time for the 24-year-old, who had three hits Sunday to extend his multi-hit game streak to 11. That tied Tony Perez for the longest streak in the majors over the last 50 seasons. Gurriel is now one of only seven players in the history of the game to string together 11 consecutive multi-hit contests, and only two off the MLB record, set by Rogers Hornsby in 1923.
Gurriel is batting .521 (25-for-48) over the span of the streak, and .322/.340/.503 on the season. That includes a deep funk during a brief MLB appearance earlier this year before he was returned to the minors. Since he was called back up on July 2, Gurriel is batting .423 (30-for-71) over 16 games, with four homers and four doubles.