Red Sox player takes pitch to the face during spring training game, gets 16 stitches

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Boston Red Sox player was taken to the hospital after he took a pitch to the face during Monday afternoon’s spring training game.

Justin Turner, a gritty free agent who the Red Sox signed in early January, was struck squarely in the face by a fastball thrown by Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning. Turner needed 16 stitches.

Turner was batting during the bottom of the first inning at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida, when he was hit by the pitch. The 38-year-old veteran dropped to the ground immediately and appeared to be in considerable pain.

NESN’s Tom Caron reported that Turner was removed from the game after receiving on-field treatment from medical staff. Turner was subsequently taken to a local hospital, where he is conscious and alert, broadcasters said.

Turner’s wife, Kourtney, posted to Instagram that the infielder had “16 stitches and a lot of swelling but we are thanking God for no fractures & clear scans.”

“He’s receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries, and is being monitored for a concussion,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert, and in good spirits given the circumstances.”

The two-time All-Star signed a $15 million, one-year deal with Red Sox during the offseason after spending the past nine years with the Dodgers. He hit .278 with 13 homers and 81 RBIs in 128 games last season.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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