Thursday’s Triple-A game between the Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls was called in the eighth inning and Friday’s game was postponed after Bulls pitcher Tyler Zombro was hit in the head by a line drive in Durham, North Carolina.
Zombro, a 26-year-old reliever for the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, appeared to be convulsing on the mound before being taken off the field on a stretcher as his teammates looked on.
In a statement after the game was called, the Rays said Zombro was transported to Duke University Hospital in Durham, where he was in stable condition and undergoing further treatment and observation.
On Friday, the Rays said Zombro remained in stable condition in the hospital, adding that “the updates from overnight have been positive.” The Bulls and Tides also postponed Friday’s game “in light of the events of Thursday evening’s contest” and with Major League Baseball’s approval.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said he spoke with Durham manager Brady Williams on Thursday night.
“Certainly, said it was a pretty jarring experience, maybe the scariest thing he’s witnessed on a baseball field,” Cash said.
“What they witnessed was very scary for a guy they care a lot about,” he added. “Can totally understand if their mind is just not there right now, to postpone a game makes sense for those players.”
The Tides led 12-4 when Zombro entered in the top of the eighth inning. Brett Cumberland, the first batter Zombro faced, lined a 1-2 fastball up the middle that struck Zombro in the face. The right-hander immediately fell to the ground, and his feet appeared to be shaking as an athletic trainer rushed to him.
The game was initially suspended but was later considered to be completed.
“The good news is by all accounts and reports that Tyler is recovering well,” Cash said. “At this point, things are going about as well as we could hope for. That’s tremendous. I’m sure the next 24-48 hours we want to keep hearing that good news, but right now we feel very fortunate and lucky to be where Tyler’s at and just continue to hope for the best for him.”
Zombro has been in the Rays organization since 2017, when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of George Mason. He has a 3.18 ERA this season and a 2.79 career ERA in the minors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.