Angels’ Kurt Suzuki feeling better after taking ball to neck in ‘weird moment’

Kurt Suzuki runs the bases after hitting a home run for the Angels against the Texas Rangers.
Kurt Suzuki runs the bases April 15. Suzuki went to the hospital after a warmup pitch bounced and hit him in the neck during Saturday’s loss to Toronto.
(Michael Ainsworth / Associated Press)

A frightening situation turned out so positive Saturday night that Angels manager Joe Maddon said he was told Kurt Suzuki might be available to play Sunday.

That news came just three hours after the veteran catcher was in obvious distress on the field after getting hit in the neck by a warmup pitch while preparing for the third inning.

“I talked to him just now and he’s feeling a lot better,” pitcher Michael Lorenzen said after the Angels’ 6-5 loss to Toronto. “Happy for that.”


Mike Trout’s home run in the seventh regained the Angels’ lead before the Toronto Blue Jays rallied with a three-run eighth to take a 6-5 win.

Maddon said Suzuki was taken to a nearby hospital for further testing after leaving the game. He was diagnosed with a contusion and returned to Angel Stadium, though Suzuki was not available to the media afterward.

The incident happened when Lorenzen threw a slider short of the plate, the ball bouncing up and catching Suzuki in the neck.

He needed help getting into the dugout and then appeared to collapse en route to the clubhouse. Asked if Suzuki lost consciousness, Maddon said he wasn’t sure.

“It was kind of funky,” Maddon said. “I don’t know if he actually did. We took him downstairs, put him on the floor in the runway down there. The trainers were right there. The medics were right there ... It was a weird moment, no question.”

Suzuki, 38, is in his 16th season and second with the Angels. He played at Cal State Fullerton and was drafted in the second round in 2004 by Oakland, making his big-league debut three years later.

As for the finale of this four-game series against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, Maddon said the Angels would wait until the morning before making a decision on Suzuki’s availability.