CLEVELAND (AP) — This was not the kind of hard hit Brett Gardner hoped for.
Fuming after his bid for extra bases was caught Saturday, the New York Yankees' sparkplug and former Holly Hill Academy standout fired his batting helmet against a dugout wall in Cleveland— only to have the protective gear ricochet back and smack him in the face.
The result: A gashed, bloody lower lip that took six stitches to close.
"It was just frustration building up, we gave up the lead," Gardner said. "You hit a ball like that that's an out, it's just frustrating."
Gardner, a former standout for College of Charleston, was 0-for-4 in the 8-4 loss to Cleveland. He's hitless in his last 22 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .217.
Indians right fielder Jordan Luplow made an outstanding catch to rob Gardner in the sixth inning.
Gardner said getting the stitches hurt more than being hit with the helmet, telling New York manager Aaron Boone that he would have thrown his helmet in his next at-bat if he didn't go ahead and toss it.