Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire left Wednesday’s game in the third inning after being overcome by the heat at Wrigley Field.
He was aided by the team’s athletic training staff and checked out by an on-site doctor during the game.
Bench coach Steve Liddle, who served as acting manager, said Gardenhire was feeling much better after the game and planned to travel with the team back to Detroit this evening.
“He’s doing fine,” Liddle said. “He just got overheated. We took batting practice on the field. That, combined with this excessive heat, just took him down. We were worried about a couple guys.”
The temperature at game time was 92 degrees with a heat index above 100.
Liddle said the dugouts offered little protection from the heat.
“There are fans blowing hot air. That’s about the extent of it,” Liddle said. “You’re not coming in there to get any relief and that concrete’s pretty hot.”
Liddle said he wasn’t aware that Gardenhire was feeling unwell until quality control coach Joe Vavra notified him.
“Joe Vavra came over and told me, ‘Hey, Ronnie had to step inside for a minute. He just got overheated.’ Our trainers did a nice job of going in and getting the doctor to look at him, just in case it was something more than that, and it wasn’t,” he said. “He feels fine. I talked to him just now. He feels a lot better.”
The Tigers were already prepared to take precautions with the heat after three Minnesota Twins were forced to leave with heat-related symptoms in a game last week.
Liddle said staffers were ready with ice-cold towels when players entered between innings. His biggest worry was about Francisco Liriano when he issued back-to-back two-walks and appeared to be flagging.
“I was worried about Frankie there at the end, but he’s an animal and in great shape and he was able to finish,” Liddle said.
The Cubs beat the Tigers 5-2 to sweep the two-game series on Wednesday.