Marlins SS Miguel Rojas loses piece of tooth in collision with Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz

Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas had to leave a game on Thursday after a collision with Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz. The reason why became very clear on replay.

The collision occurred in the top of the ninth inning with the game tied with one out and Cruz on first base after drawing a walk. Cruz attempted to steal second base, but was caught on a perfect throw from Marlins catcher Nick Fortes.

As the 6-foot-7 Cruz popped up, his helmet made direct contact with Rojas' mouth. Replay showed the helmet had knocked out part of the infielder's tooth, leading him to instantly exit the game while clutching his mouth.

Further replay confirmed the situation to be gnarly. Cruz's height, downright unprecedented among MLB shortstops, probably played a role in the unusual play.

Rojas was replaced in the lineup by first baseman Garrett Cooper as part of a shuffle of the entire Marlins infield. The Marlins held the Pirates scoreless for the inning, and their own scoreless inning in the bottom of the ninth sent the game to extra innings, where they won 3-2 on a Brian Anderson RBI triple.

Facial injuries were something of a theme for the Marlins during the game, as center fielder Billy Hamilton was left bloody after a hard slide into home plate to score a run in the fifth inning.

Rojas left before reporters could speak with him after the game, while Hamilton remained, according to's Christina De Nicola.

Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, left, looses part of a tooth after colliding with Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz as Cruz was attempting to steal second base during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 14, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
This had to hurt for Miguel Rojas. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)