Fuld's slide dings Escobar, irks Royals

Fuld's slide dings Escobar, irks Royals

Fuld's slide dings Escobar, irks Royals
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals weren't happy about the slide that knocked shortstop Alcides Escobar out of Friday night's game, but Rays baserunner Sam Fuld said he merely started his slide too late.

Escobar left Friday night's game against the Rays after being spiked in the right shin in the fifth inning.

As Escobar took a force-out throw at second base from Chris Getz, he was upended by Fuld whose leading foot banged the shortstop's right leg as he stepped on the bag.

Escobar remained on the ground for a couple of minutes but, after being tended by athletic trainer Nick Kenney, got to his feet and stayed in the game. However, he left immediately after the inning was over and the Royals announced he'd suffered a contusion.

After the Royals' 10-4 victory, manager Ned Yost asked if he thought Fuld's slide was a dirty play.

"I didn't think it was exceptionally clean, no," Yost said. "He came in with spikes high and his foot was way past the bag when his back, bent leg slid into the bag and he spiked him pretty good."

Fuld also was asked if he thought it was a dirty play.

"No, I didn't. I took a normal slide. I just think it was late. It was kind of a slow hit ball. I didn't commit to sliding until late. I went in and wasn't trying to go in high or anything. It was a normal slide to me and it just got him good," Fuld said. "I figured they weren't going to be too happy about it because he's their everyday shortstop. But I know my mental approach was just take a normal slide. I didn't commit to second until the last second."

Coincidence or not, Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar hit Fuld with a pitch in the next inning, the last pitch he threw in the game.

When asked how serious Escobar's injury was, Yost replied: "He's not hurt, he's fine. He's got a pretty big chunk of meat missing in his shin and it's a little sore. We might give him a day [off Saturday]. We'll see how he feels."

Escobar was replaced at shortstop by recently-arrived Mike Aviles. Yost planned to give Escobar a day off on Sunday, but might make that on Saturday night instead, depending on how his shin feels.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.