The play happened in the bottom of the eighth inning, with Michael Fulmer trying to protect an 8-4 Tigers lead. Anthony Santander, who hit two home runs off of starter Casey Mize earlier in the night, crushed a line drive into the gap.
Hill and Baddoo got to the ball at the same time, and both were on a dead sprint. Hill made an incredible catch and somehow managed to hold onto the ball, but that was the least of the Tigers’ concerns.
Scary moment as Akil Baddoo and Derek Hill collide in the outfield pic.twitter.com/nGqqK5G91n— Ben Palmer (@benjpalmer) August 11, 2021
Both players stayed down on the field for several minutes before rising and walking slowly back to the dugout. Manager A.J. Hinch said Baddoo will be out at least a couple of days and could require a stint on the injury list. He said Hill hurt his ribs, but didn’t elaborate further.
It was a pretty critical play, especially considering the next batter reached base against Fulmer. If not for Hill’s catch, the tying run theoretically would have come to the plate with just one out. Instead, Fulmer got a popup with two on to end the inning.
Baddoo was replaced in left field by Eric Haase, who was replaced at catcher by Grayson Greiner. Hill was replaced in center field by Niko Goodrum, who was replaced at shortstop by Harold Castro.
Victor Reyes had come in to pinch run for Miguel Cabrera in the top half of the inning, so Hinch likely didn’t want to use him in the outfield and forfeit the designated hitter, just in case.
Detroit won the game 9-4. Tarik Skubal and Matt Harvey will square off in the second game of the series on Wednesday night.