Boston Red Sox outfielder Tyler O’Neill was injured and required stitches after colliding with teammate Rafael Devers in the top of the seventh inning of a Monday game against the Cleveland Guardians. Both attempted to field a fly ball.

Both tracked the ball as it made its way to shallow left field, with Devers making the catch but not shortly after colliding with O’Neill. Both went to the ground, Devers laying motionless for a few moments and O’Neill holding his head showing the bleeding. Devers stayed on the field for the remainder of the game, but O’Neill was taken out and eventually given eight stitches above his left eye. He also went through concussion protocols and is expected to be re-evaluated next week.

“He has a big gash here,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said while pointing at his forehead, talking about O’Neill. “He got eight stitches. He’s going through the concussion protocol; hopefully, everything’s fine.”

Before the injury, O’Neill went one for two with a walk. But as a whole, he has been one of the most productive hitters for the Red Sox this season with averages of .301/.448/.761 along with hitting seven home runs in only 15 games played. In the majors since 2018, O’Neill’s 2024 marks have been the highest of his career, and the injury sidelines him after having four hits in the past five games. 

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The Red Sox lost the Monday game to the Guardians 6-0 and fell again to them 10-7 on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Boston is even at 9-9 and last in the AL East. They’ve lost seven of their last 10 games, and with O’Neill now out for at least the next week, their immediate future also doesn’t look great.

Boston has two more games against the 12-5 first-place Guardians before traveling to Pittsburgh to play the 11-7 Pirates. That will be followed by another series against Cleveland, who they have yet to beat this year. Boston’s next 11 games are all against teams with a record above .500, and without O’Neill, they will be looking in every corner of the dugout to find some hits and offensive output.

Though his injury required stitches, all signs point to O’Neill passing the concussion protocol and rejoining the team sometime next week. After spending his first six in St. Louis, this is his first season with the Red Sox, and he is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season.

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