CLEVELAND (AP) — Texas Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers sustained facial bruises after he said he was “sucker-punched” while walking in downtown Cleveland this week.
Scheppers had cuts above his nose and bruising around his left eyes when he spoke to reporters prior to Saturday night’s game against the Indians.
“I’m just lucky nothing serious happened,” Scheppers said.
Scheppers said he was attacked Thursday night. He was unavailable Friday night but said he could pitch Saturday.
Scheppers said he didn’t file a police report.
The reliever said he was going out to dinner a few blocks from the team’s hotel after the Rangers arrived in Cleveland on Thursday night following their afternoon game in Texas.
Scheppers said he was “sucker-punched by several young males” and knocked to the sidewalk, but never lost consciousness. Scheppers said he wasn’t robbed and that his attackers ran away.
The 26-year-old Scheppers said he was examined by a team doctor after the incident. He said he had a headache at the time but didn’t sustain a concussion.
Scheppers, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 200 pounds, said police were called to the scene. The team informed Major League Baseball security.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Schepper said.
The Rangers lost Friday’s game 11-8 in 11 innings when Ryan Raburn hit a three-run homer off Jason Frasor, who was beginning his third inning of work.
Scheppers is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 46 appearances.
“I wish it wouldn’t have happened, obviously,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “Things like this just don’t happen in Cleveland. They happen everywhere.”