Marlins’ Stanton leaves on stretcher after taking pitch to face

MILWAUKEE — Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was stretchered off the field Thursday night after being hit in the face with a pitch.

A team official said Stanton would undergo X-rays and a CT scan but was unsure whether he would travel with the team Thursday night to Philadelphia, where the Marlins open a three-game series Friday against the Phillies.

With the Brewers up 4-0, runners at the corners and two outs, Milwaukee right-hander Mike Fiers hit Stanton with a 1-0 fastball.

Stanton dropped to the ground immediately, blood gushing from his face. He was carted off the field by paramedics and taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

“He didn’t lose consciousness out on the field, but he was bleeding heavily out of his mouth,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Definitely scary, and we’re hoping that everything’s going to be all right with him.”

Despite all that, plate umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that Stanton swung while trying to avoid the pitch, and instead of a runner at first base, loading the bases, the count was 0-2.

Redmond sent up Reed Johnson up to pinch-hit, and Fiers’ next offering hit Johnson in the hand. Kellogg ruled that Johnson, too, swung through the pitch, and instead of being awarded first base, Johnson was called out on strikes, ending the inning.

That set off Miami third baseman Casey McGehee, who was on deck and started charging toward Kellogg. McGehee backed off slightly, but at that point both benches and both bullpens emptied. After pushing and shoving on both sides, order was restored, and McGehee and Redmond were ejected.

“I got thrown out for arguing the swing,” McGehee said. “I guess I’ve got to know better, but at the same time, you see our best player lying there, knowing he’s going to the hospital and that’s ruled a swing, then the next pitch hits the next guy — almost the same pitch — and that’s ruled a swing, too.”

Kellogg, speaking to a pool reporter after the game, stood by the calls.

“I went to the first base umpire (D.J. Reyburn), and he definitely did swing at the pitch,” Kellogg said. “We’ve both looked at it, and, yes, he did swing — they both did — at those pitches. On both of those, I went to D.J. and both times, he called it a swing.”

Redmond was still upset about the calls after the game.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, and I’ve definitely never seen two swings called on those two plays,” Redmond said. “I’ve never seen a guy get hit in the mouth and called for a swing. He’s out there bleeding at home plate, and for the first base ump to say he swung at that pitch, what a joke.”

Fiers, too, got animated during the scuffle but denied there was any intent on either pitch.

“We were trying to just go up (to Johnson),” Fiers said. “The ball got away again. It was just really tough to settle down. A lot of tempers were flaring. For them to think that it was intentional, it is beyond me, and something I would never do.”

Brewers right-hander Jeremy Jeffress took over in the sixth in relief of Fiers, who was still emotional after the game.

“It was very tough,” Fiers said. “I’ve never in my life experienced something like that. It was very hard for me to take in everything at the moment and come back and throw another pitch.

“I just want to send my thoughts and prayers and everything to Giancarlo Stanton. You never think of throwing at somebody like that. Never in my life has that happened. I just feel very, very sad that I hit him. I’m sorry to their teammates, their fans, his family. It is just tough.”

Stanton is one of the front-runners to be the National League’s Most Valuable Player. He leads the league with 37 homers, 105 RBIs, a .555 slugging percentage and a .950 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. He ranks third with a .395 on-base percentage, and he is batting .288.

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