After the Quakes lost for the second straight night to Lake Elsinore, by dropping a game that was winnable in the late innings, they may have gotten some other bad news: an injury to lteam-eading home run hitter Dillon Baird.
With the Quakes trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two on and two out, Baird, who homered earlier in the game, was due up. Instead, it was the newest Quake, Adam Younger, who pinch-hit for him. Younger replaced Carlos Colmenares on the roster Saturday after Colmenares was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake after Friday’s game. Younger was coming from low Single-A Cedar Rapids (where he was batting below .200), so his first Cal League at-bat was with the game on the line. Lake Elsinore’s Brad Brach predictably struck out Younger to earn his league-leading 11th save and third in the last four days.
After the game, manager Keith Johnson confirmed that Baird did come out of the game due to injury. Baird was hit in the hand by a pitch in the eighth inning, but remained in the game.
“The next inning on defense, he had some trouble throwing,” Johnson said. “So we took him out just to make sure.”
Johnson said it was “unlikely” that Baird, a third baseman, would be in the lineup for Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. game. He said there are no plans for x-rays, but “we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
If Baird is out for any extensive length of time, that’s a big bat to be missing out of the middle of the Quakes’ lineup.