The hit-by-pitch occurred in the fifth inning, with Ward facing Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah. The 2-0 fastball was recorded at 91.6 mph and immediately sent Ward to the ground with his helmet flying away. Further replay showed the ball hit the ear flap of Ward’s helmet before getting his nose.
Manoah immediately looked away and put his hands on his head as Angels trainers began treating Ward. Many more players could be seen recoiling in horror.
After a few minutes, Ward was guided onto a cart and driven off the field to a loud ovation from the Rogers Centre crowd.
Ward ranks behind only Shohei Ohtani in games played for the Angels this season with 97, tied with Hunter Renfroe for the second-most on the team. After a breakout season in 2022, he has been a solid bat so far this year, hitting .254/.335/.424 with 14 homers in 406 plate appearances entering Saturday.
The exact severity of Ward’s injury is currently unclear, but significant time missed for an everyday player would be a bad break for the Angels after they resolved to keep Ohtani at the trade deadline and acquired starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and reliever Reynaldo López from the Chicago White Sox.
The Angels entered Saturday with a record of 54-50, six games back from the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West and four games back from the final wild-card spot.