Instead, Eaton had a full-speed meeting with a post on the right-center field fence as Rosales' drive carried out for a two-run shot. The White Sox center fielder, leadoff hitter and spark plug had the wind knocked out of him and exited the game with a bruised lower back. But Eaton realizes it could have been worse, as X-rays were negative.
"I've never done that before. I'm a little embarrassed," Eaton said after the White Sox lost for the fourth time during this six-game homestand. "But my back kind of took a beating a little bit there. I'm very happy that it wasn't my head. I thought that I went into the wall pretty hard.
"A ball hit earlier in the game kind of had the same trajectory off the bat. My initial read was it had the same, maybe a little bit more. The ball just kept going. My main objective is to catch it. I kind of miscalculated a little bit."
Eaton said that right fielder Dayan Viciedo was trying to move him after the collision, but he told Viciedo to leave him alone because he couldn't even breathe.
"The first thing you do after hitting the wall, you collect your body parts and make sure everything is working right," Eaton said. "I'm glad it wasn't a concussion or anything like that."
"He's going after everything, that's just the way he plays," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You don't want to take that away from him. He has done the same thing and made some great catches. That's part of playing the game. It wasn't necessarily silly. He thought he had a shot at it, and it ended up carrying out of the ballpark."
Taking the four hour-plus plane ride to Seattle will influence whether Eaton can come back quickly. But it sounds as if he knows the collision with the fence could cost him at least a day or two.
"Either way, I'm going to be yanking at Robin's chain, but in the end it's his decision whether to play me or not," Eaton said. "Coming out of a game, I know he has a thing that you miss the next game or you are day to day."