Royals’ Whit Merrifield iron man streak ends due to toe injury

Royals’ Whit Merrifield iron man streak ends due to toe injury

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Royals infielder Whit Merrifield’s streak of playing in a franchise-record 553 straight games ended Monday when he missed the opener of a doubleheader against Detroit because of a toe injury.

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Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals turns a double play against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas. 

Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals turns a double play against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 07, 2022 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Merrifield’s string dated to June 24, 2018, and was the longest active streak in the majors.

“It’s been a great run for Whit,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “It’s just been impressive the way he’s been able to go about it.”

Merrifield exited Sunday’s game with right toe discomfort. He was fitted with a walking boot and is expected to be placed on the injured list due to a bone bruise and ligament swelling.

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Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Kauffman Stadium on July 08, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals hits a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Kauffman Stadium on July 08, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

“I’ve been lucky … in some instances, but I’ve put myself in a good position to play every day mentality-wise. I showed up to play no matter the circumstance. It’s been a long run and I’m proud of it,” he said.

The 33-year-old Merrifield is hitting .240 with 36 RBIs this season. The two-time All-Star led the AL with 42 doubles and 40 stolen bases last year.

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Kansas City Royals' Whit Merrifield celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians Friday, July 8, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. 

Kansas City Royals’ Whit Merrifield celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians Friday, July 8, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Cal Ripken Jr. holds the all-time record of playing 2,632 straight games.

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