Reds' Frankie Montas (forearm) departs after three batters

Cincinnati Reds starter Frankie Montas was removed three batters into Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Angels after he was hit in the right forearm by a line drive from Taylor Ward.

Montas, 31, was met at the mound by the Reds training staff and left the game in obvious discomfort while holding his pitching arm against his body. X-rays were negative and Montas was diagnosed with a forearm bruise.

Montas tracked the ball that hit him down and threw Ward out at first before leaving with the trainer.

"I was going to make the play regardless. I told myself get him out," Montas said. "I couldn't feel my hand, nothing. It swelled up right away.

The ball was clocked at 101 mph.

Left-hander Brent Suter replaced Montas and allowed four hits in 3⅓ scoreless innings. The Reds' bullpen went on to complete a shutout with Emilio Pagan (2-1) earning the win in a 3-0 victory after allowing one hit in two innings.

Five Reds relievers pitched 8⅓ innings and allowed just six singles. The Reds infield turned in two double plays, including a stellar stop by Jeimer Candelario at third base.

"It was a day of just stepping up and helping each other out," Reds manager David Bell said. "As soon as it happened to Frankie, we said what do we do to get this done. We saw it as a challenge. It was an amazing job by the bullpen."

It is the second time in three seasons Montas has left a game early against the Angels. In a 2022 outing, as a member of the Oakland Athletics, he was hit on the right hand by a comebacker from the Angels' Luis Rengifo.

Montas entered Sunday 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA in four starts. The veteran is in his first season with the Reds after previously pitching for the Chicago White Sox, A's and New York Yankees. He is 39-37 in 134 career appearances (103 starts) over nine seasons with a 3.91 ERA.

Field Level Media and The Associated Press contributed to this report.