Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. is blaming the field conditions at the Oakland Athletics’ O.co Coliseum for a left hip injury that knocked him out of Wednesday’s game.
“I went to slide, and it was extremely muddy around second base,” Souza said after the Rays’ 7-2 loss. “My leg got stuck in the ground, and I just kind of felt a jump in my hip. That didn’t feel very great.”
Souza suffered the strained hip in the first inning while trying to steal second after drawing a leadoff walk. He said he was feeling much better after the game.
X-rays on Souza’s hip were negative. The Rays said an MRI also came back clean and he is considered day-to-day.
Souza tweeted his relief that he escaped serious injury.
Souza, 28, who suffered a season-ending hip injury last year, did express some frustration with the dirt field that cut his day short.
“I don’t know how it got real muddy out there, but it was not OK,” Souza told reporters. “I’ve never actually slid into a major league base like that and stuck and felt like I was going deeper in the ground.”
The A’s have played at the Coliseum since 1968. The stadium has had other notable issues in recent years, most memorably when sewage backed up into the home and visiting clubhouses.
Athletics executive vice president Billy Beane said earlier this week that the team is moving toward a new stadium. The team is reportedly considering three locations for a stadium, and commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that a preferred site would be chosen by the end of the year.