DETROIT — Alex Avila was taken out of Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday after getting hit in the mask by a foul tip in the sixth inning. Backup catcher Bryan Holaday replaced him behind the plate.
With Avila's concussion issues this season, the Tigers weren't taking any chances. The foul tip hit Avila well and he fell back, unable to get up.
When Avila turned over to get to his feet from his knees, he remained staggered and was slow to getting to his feet.
Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out to talk, but there was little discussion as Ausmus motioned for Holaday and Avila left the game under his own power.
Once Avila left the game, things took a turn for the worse. The Orioles got a single by Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz followed it up with a two-run home run on a 1-1 pitch, making it 2-0 in favor of the Orioles.
Until that point the Tigers and Orioles were scoreless with David Price and Bud Norris engaged in a pitcher's duel. Price blinked first after the catching change, while Norris continued to shut down the Tigers 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
After the game Avila confirmed that he was diagnosed with a concussion, marking the third confirmed concussion he's suffered this season alone. Avila said the last thing he wanted was to come out of the game, but understood the reasons behind it and the need for Rand and Ausmus to protect his health.
Avila tried to talk his way out of being taken out of the game, telling Rand he was fine even though he knew he wasn't. That's just the way Avila is, you'd have to nearly pull him off the field to get him to comply in any situation.
Sunday, with a firm hand on Avila for support, Rand did just that and wouldn't take no for an answer. In the clubhouse after the game, Avila admitted he still had a slight headache and some lingering dizziness.
"Tomorrow I'll go through all the tests, they'll put me through X-rays of my neck, CT scans, MRIs, make sure I'm ok, talk to the doctors, speak with the neurologists and we'll take it from there," Avila said. "See what the doctors say. But I fully expect to be playing next year so that's what I expect and I'm going to play as long as I can."