Voit gets hit in face by pitch, scores, then leaves

NEW YORK -- Yankees slugger Luke Voit left the team's game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday after being hit in the face by a pitch.

A 91.4 mph pitch from Chad Bettis clipped Voit's chin in the bottom of the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. The ball ricocheted ever so slightly off Voit's left shoulder a split second before glancing off the lower part of his face.

Initially, he remained in the game.

"[That] doesn't surprise me. I don't think it surprises you guys, either," Yankees catcher Austin Romine told reporters after the Yankees' 11-5 win. "If you know Luke, you know he's going to play the game. The guy's like a bull out there."

Evaluated by Yankees manager Aaron Boone and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue as he was taking his base, Voit pleaded enough of a case to stay in the game. He went first to third on a Didi Gregorius infield hit and then scored on a Gleyber Torres single to give the Yankees a 9-0 lead.

By the next half-inning, with the game seemingly in hand on a day when area heat indexes reached 107 degrees, Voit was lifted.

"Obviously, that's scary right there, but it felt like he was even pretty good before we took him out," Boone said. "Then going through the tests, he was fine, and speaking to him right after, feel like he should be OK."

Following his removal, Voit passed a concussion protocol test. The Yankees announced during the game that he had no further tests scheduled. It's possible he'll be back in their lineup for Sunday's series finale.

"Just glad that it's not worse," said infielder DJ LeMahieu, who moved from third base to replace Voit at first. "It could have been real bad. It still clipped him pretty good, but thankfully it's not -- it could've been a lot worse."

According to Boone, Voit was left with only a cut on his lip.

Voit was unavailable for comment. He had already left the ballpark by the time media was allowed into the Yankees' clubhouse.

Four innings after Voit's scary moment, the Yankees had another in the eighth, when Romine was buzzed with back-to-back 99 mph pitches from Rockies reliever Jairo Diaz. The first rode hard inside on Romine's hands and hit the knob of the bat before he could get out of the way. The very next pitch, another high-velocity fastball came roaring near his head, bringing angered, chattering Yankees up to the top step of the dugout.

"We didn't like it," Boone said.

Several Yankees slapped their hands against the padded rail of the dugout as they voiced displeasure toward Diaz for throwing consecutive pitches at their catcher. Pitcher CC Sabathia appeared to be among the most vocal.

Last September, Sabathia notoriously plunked Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre after Romine was thrown behind in a previous plate appearance. Sabathia was ejected and served a five-game suspension at the start of this season for the incident.

"No, I don't think there was intent," Boone said about Diaz's two errant throws. "But sometimes intent doesn't matter. Throw the ball over the plate."

The sight of two pitches going high and tight on Romine had some in the Yankees' dugout thinking immediately about Voit, who has been hit a team-high seven times this season.

"After Lukie got hit and then Ro almost got hit twice, it's a long, hot day," LeMahieu said. "And obviously, we don't want to see that. That'll get a reaction a lot of times."

Romine, who finished the at-bat by striking out, said he couldn't let himself think about the pitch that had previously struck Voit in that situation.

"You can't think about that stuff. Every time you get in the box, it's dangerous," Romine said. "People are throwing a rock at you at a hundred mph. So if that's going through your mind and you're not focusing on hitting, then you're already out.

"You kind of just have to find a way to purge it from your brain, dig in there and try and get a hit."