The sound was familiar to Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, but the bloody mess that ensued was not.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 5-4 win over the Angels on Thursday night, Angels pinch-hitter Jefry Marte swung through A's reliever Sean Doolittle's first pitch and lost control of his bat, which struck home plate umpire Paul Emmel on the top of the head.
Emmel stumbled backward, fell to the ground and began bleeding profusely. Two Angels athletic trainers rushed to Emmel's aid and applied a towel to the cut.
Emmel left the game and was taken to a local hospital for stitches, with third-base umpire Quinn Wolcott taking over behind the plate. Marte popped out to second base on the next pitch to end the game.
"It sounded like someone hit a ball off the end of the bat," Vogt said. "You could hear the bat hitting his head. I turned around and he was down and I saw the blood. It was gushing pretty good."
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia stopped by the umpire's room briefly after the game. He said Emmel was conscious while doctors examined him.
"It seems like he's going to be OK," Scioscia said. "It's scary, no doubt. Those guys don't have a skull cap, that bat goes flying, and unfortunately, it got him tonight."