Pirates’ Oneil Cruz has surgery, misses 4 months

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Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz underwent surgery and will miss four months after suffering a fractured bone in his lower left leg and ligament damage in his ankle in a hit at home plate, the team said Monday.

Cruz, 24, was at Allegheny General Hospital Sunday night undergoing procedures to stabilize a fractured fibula and address an ankle injury, the Pirates said.

Cruz attempted to score from third on a chopper when Cruz’s leg buckled miserably beneath him as he attempted a late slide. Cruz’s leg appeared to collide with the legs of Chicago White Sox catcher Sebi Zavala, who easily tagged Cruz.

The 6-foot-7 Cruz winced in pain and the benches and bullpen were briefly cleared after Pittsburgh designated hitter Carlos Santana, who appeared to take exception to Zavala’s behavior, told Santana he didn’t like how late he decided to slide.

Cruz extended his on-base streak to 19 games by starting the inning, the third-longest active streak in the majors. He is hitting .250 with one home run and four RBIs this season.

“Obviously losing O’Neal is a blow because he’s been a huge part of what we do on both sides of the ball,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said Sunday. Rodolfo Castro moved from second base to shortstop after Cruz left, and Ji Hwan Bae replaced Castro at second.

Pittsburgh continues a six-game homestand against the Houston Astros on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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