Baseball took a backseat to real life during Fresno’s 11-4 victory over Salt Lake on Thursday night at Smith’s Ballpark.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Bees’ Brennan Boesch lifted a slicing fly ball down the left field line.
O Fresno’s Darren Ford is injured in the eighth inning of an 11-4 win over Salt Lake on Thursday night.
» The Bees’ C.J. Cron extends his hitting streak to eight games by going 2-for-4.
» Salt Lake City ends a season-opening homestand with a 4-4 record.
The Grizzlies’ Darren Ford raced over and made a diving attempt for the ball, but he missed and slammed head-first into the wall just beyond the Fresno bullpen.
Ford’s teammates raced to his side and signaled to the dugout for help.
After lying on the field for 15 minutes and being attended by trainers from both teams, Ford was placed in an ambulance.
His condition was not immediately known after the game, although Fresno manager Bob Mariano told a member of the Salt Lake public relations staff that Ford was moving his toes and answering questions before being taken to the hospital.
"He dove for the ball and went head-first into the side wall down there," Bees manager Keith Johnson said. "It wasn’t a good feeling. We’re all praying that things work out for the best for him."
Ford, 28, is from Vineland, N.J.
He was drafted by Milwaukee in 2004 before being traded to San Francisco. He played 33 games for the Giants in 2010 and 2011, when he was released.
Ford spent last season with Indianapolis of the International League but re-signed with San Francisco in March and started the season in Fresno.
When play resumed, the Grizzlies finished off an win that dropped Salt Lake to 4-4 on its season-opening homestand.
According to Johnson, playing the final eight outs was difficult.
"It’s tough," he said. "We’re all human beings. We don’t want anybody to get hurt, especially something like that, where the ambulance gets involved and all that.
"Obviously it’s tough to get your mind right because it puts everything into perspective. It was just tough and a bad incident. Like I said, hopefully everything is well."
Before Ford’s injury, the Grizzlies had already taken against the Bees, who grabbed a short-lived 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Salt Lake starter Joe Martinez pitched out of two-on, no-out trouble in the second, but Fresno made it 2-1 in the the third on Gary Brown’s long leadoff homer.
Leading 3-1, however, Martinez could not get out of the fifth.
The Grizzlies bunched a double, two walks, Tony Abreu’s sacrifice fly and Adam Duvall’s two-run homer to take a 5-3 lead.
Salt Lake got a run back on C.J. Cron’s RBI single, but Fresno quickly countered with four more runs in the in the sixth to break the game open.
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