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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price "fine" after taking line drive off chest

A team trainer tends to David Price as manager Joe Maddon and concerned teammates look on in the third inning.

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A team trainer tends to David Price as manager Joe Maddon and concerned teammates look on in the third inning.

BOSTON — LHP David Price got a big scare, a bruise on his chest and an afternoon visit to Massachusetts General Hospital after being struck by a third-inning line drive.

He, and the Rays, were thankful it wasn't worse. And that, according to manager Joe Maddon, he is expected to make his next start, either Friday or Saturday against Toronto.

"I'm fine," Price said in comments relayed by the team. "I'm just glad it didn't hit me in the head. … The bullpen guys did a great job. I was watching on my phone while I was laying in bed at the hospital."

Price was put through a series of undisclosed tests, which all were negative, Maddon said. He didn't return to Fenway Park, meeting the team at the train station for the Sunday night ride to New York.

There was one out in the third when Mike Aviles' liner struck Price flush on the right side of the chest, knocking him back but not over. He was immediately attended to by team medical staff and Maddon, and convinced them to let him stay in.

He finished that inning and worked the fourth, but when he began to stiffen up, the Rays said it was enough, taking him out and sending him to be checked out.

"It's really obviously scary," Maddon said. "You hear the solid thump from the bench. It got all of him. … You get hit in the chest area, there's a lot of bad things that can happen."

SHOPPACH THE MAN: Kelly Shoppach started at catcher Sunday and will reclaim a more significant role given the lack of offensive production from Jose Lobaton (.074) and overall poor play by John Jaso (.223).

Since Shoppach, hitting .170, is by far the best defensive catcher of the three, Maddon said it only makes sense at this juncture to turn back to him. "We cannot sacrifice behind the plate if we are not in fact picking it up at the plate," Maddon said.

FARNSWORTH ENCOURAGED: RHP Kyle Farnsworth got to go on the field and play catch for the first time since leaving the Sept.  10 game, making about 40 "nice and easy" pitches from a distance of 60 feet. He said "everything went well" with his previously tender elbow and he was "definitely" encouraged. Farnsworth said there was no set timetable, but he hopes to throw off the mound Tuesday and return as soon as Thursday.

FULD, TOO: OF Sam Fuld received a cortisone injection in his right wrist (strained ECU tendon) after Saturday's game and said he was already feeling better and planned to try swinging a bat Tuesday. He has been limited to defense and pinch-running duties.

LENDING A HAND: Maddon today will announce plans for the Hazleton Integration Project, a program to acquire and furnish a community center for use by Hispanic residents as part of an effort to unify the multicultural area and restore the vibrancy of his Pennsylvania hometown. A series of awareness- and fundraising events are planned for December.

MISCELLANY: The Rays finished 12-6 against the Sox, their best for a season, and held them to a .189 average, lowest for the Sox vs. an AL opponent since 1901. … LHP Matt Moore, who threw 60 pitches on Saturday, could be available in relief again as soon as Tuesday. … The Rays won their 24th straight when scoring five or more. … SS Sean Rodriguez, bothered by a stiff back, left after five innings as a precaution; the Rays need him Tuesday with Ben Zobrist expected to miss the game due to the birth of his daughter.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price "fine" after taking line drive off chest 09/18/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 18, 2011 11:14pm]

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