Kotchman taken to hospital for tests after feeling tightness in chest
UPDATE, 7:10: No update from the Rays yet on Kotchman's condition as the game starts, but also no sense that anything serious had happened.
UPDATE 6:12 p.m. DH Johnny Damon said 1B Casey Kotchman had been in the trainer's room for most of the afternoon, for regular pre-game preparation. Damon said he was in the team lounge when he saw Kotchman was wheeled out of the clubhouse for precautionary tests due to tightness in his chest.
"It's definitely scary," Damon said. "We just hope he's okay...We've been through a lot of adversity so far this season, and we're going to have to again."
UPDATE, 5:59: Kotchman has been removed from the lineup, with Sean Rodriguez moving to 1B and Reid Brignac going into the lineup at shortstop.
DEVELOPING: Rays 1B Casey Kotchman was taken out of the clubhouse on a stretcher after experiencing tightness in his chest and is being taken to a hospital for what the team said were precautionary tests.
Kotchman, 28, was in a back room of the Rays clubhouse when team personnel asked media to leave. Kotchman was then seen being out of the clubhouse on a rolling stretcher with medical personnel. Team spokesman Rick Vaughn then said Kotchman had been experiencing tightness in his chest and was being taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
Kotchman was in the Rays lineup for tonight's game, hitting seventh. If he does not play, they could turn either to Dan Johnson, or move Sean Rodriguez to first and start Reid Brignac at shortstop.
Kotchman is hitting .305 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs for the Rays, and leads the majors in fielding percentage.
- JOE SMITH and MARC TOPKIN