Atlanta Braves utility man Charlie Culberson was carted off the field after Washington Nationals reliever Fernando Rodney hit him in the face with a pitch during a bunt attempt in the seventh inning of Saturday's game at Nationals Park.
Culberson had just entered the game as a pinch hitter for Mike Foltynewicz and squared to attempt a sacrifice bunt on the first pitch. Rodney's 91-mph fastball, however, missed the bat entirely and struck Culberson square in the face.
Training staff from both teams tended to Culberson during a long delay before he was helped to his feet. He gave a thumbs-up while being carted off as Braves trainer George Poulis held a towel to his nose.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said postgame that Culberson was taken to a local hospital but had no other information about his condition.
"He was good when he went to the hospital. I mean, he was alert and all that kind of stuff," an emotional Snitker said, according to FOX Sports: Braves. "We just don't know the extent of what's going on yet. So ... just praying for him and his family."
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Rodney felt awful about the incident, according to MASN's Alex Chappell.
Home plate umpire Tim Timmons called the pitch that hit Culberson a strike, ruling he didn't pull the bunt back while trying to duck out of the way. The call infuriated Snitker, who was ejected after a colorful on-field protest.
Culberson has become an important bench piece for Atlanta this season, seeing time at five different positions while appearing in 108 games for the NL East leaders. The 30-year-old entered Saturday sporting a .283/.333/.509 line in 58 pinch-hit appearances.