Surging Atlanta Braves lose star second baseman Ozzie Albies to fractured left foot in fifth inning

Surging Atlanta Braves lose star second baseman Ozzie Albies to fractured left foot in fifth inning

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies left Monday’s 9-5 victory against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning after he fractured his left foot, the team announced.

Albies suffered the injury in the batter’s box on a swing, and as the ball left the bat, the veteran hobbled a step down the first-base line before falling to the ground in pain.

He sat up and immediately looked down at the injured foot. After he made his way to the dugout, he hopped on his right foot down the stairs and into the Braves’ clubhouse. He was replaced at second base by veteran backup Orlando Arcia.

Albies was 0-for-2 with a run scored and a walk at the time of the injury. Arcia singled in his first at-bat.

“Hate it for Ozzie. Hate it for us,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker, who didn’t know how long Albies will be sidelined. “He’ll be fine. He’s young, he’ll heal quick. Like I said, I just hate it for the kid because he loves to play baseball and he’s such a big part of our club. It’s a chance for somebody else to do something good.”

The injury comes as the defending World Series champions are rallying from a slow start. With Monday’s win, Atlanta now owns a 12-game winning streak, which has vaulted the Braves into second place in the National League East, five games behind the New York Mets.

“It’s something that’s hard to put into words,” shortstop Dansby Swanson said of Albies’ injury in his postgame, on-field interview. “He’s like my little brother, we’ve played together now for six years, we’ve been through a lot together, a lot of ups and a lot of downs. There’s not a better human being out there. Obviously, we’re thinking about him.

“At the end of the day, these things happen in sports and we’re going to continue to grow and get better.”

Before the series opener against Washington, Albies had 240 at-bats, 8 home runs and 33 RBIs. He, like the team, struggled out of the gate after last November’s World Series title, but Albies pushed his batting average to .246 and had three stolen bases, hitting largely out of the No. 6 hole.

Albies, 25, is in his fifth major-league season, and won a Silver Slugger award in both 2019 and 2021. Signed through 2025, Albies led the National League last season in assists, and has made two All-Star Game appearances.

The first inning of Monday’s game was delayed nearly 90 minutes because of rain in Washington. After the delay, the Nationals switched starting pitchers, giving reliever Erasmo Ramirez a spot start over Josiah Gray. In the ninth inning, the Nationals removed star outfielder Juan Soto before his turn in the lineup after slipping and banging his knee on the corner of the dugout bench. Ehire Adrianza hits for Soto and grounded out.

“He said he could go out there [in the field for the ninth], but he was limping pretty good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of Soto. “He came in and said he started getting really sore, so I didn’t want to chance it, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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