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Liner hits Reds' Chapman in face

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was hit in the face by a line drive in Wednesday night's spring game against the Royals.

Chapman, 26, was taken off the field on a cart. He suffered lacerations and a contusion above his left eye but never lost consciousness, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

"He was able to communicate, he was able to move his hands, his feet, his legs," Reds manager Bryan Price told the Enquirer.

Chapman was struck by Salvador Perez's drive with two outs in the sixth inning. The pitcher crumbled, face down and flailing his legs. Medical personnel, including Royals team doctor Vincent Key, rushed the field.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever seen," Cincinnati rightfielder Jay Bruce told the Enquirer.

Several players knelt around the mound as Chapman was being attended to and the stadium became silent. Chapman's father, Juan Alberto, raced down from the stands.

An ambulance's siren could be heard in background while Chapman was loaded onto the stretcher.

The game was called with Kansas City leading 6-3.

"There's not words to explain how everyone's feeling right now," Bruce said. "It's terrible. It really is."

Chapman, who throws 100 mph, had walked four Royals in the inning before being hit.

Earlier, Reds right-hander Mat Latos pitched two scoreless innings against minor-leaguers in his first live appearance since Feb. 14 surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.

AUSTRALIA SERIES: Dodgers right-hander Zach Lee, 22, one of the team's top prospects, will start on Friday against Team Australia in the first exhibition game at the revamped Sydney Cricket Ground.

ANGELS: Dominican right-hander Luis Pena, 18, was suspended 50 games for a positive test under baseball's minor-league drug program.

A'S: Right-hander Ryan Cook, sidelined all spring with shoulder tightness, threw 21 pain-free pitches in a simulated game.

BRAVES: Right-hander Kris Medlen had season-ending elbow-ligament replacement surgery for the second time.

METS: Veteran right-handers Jose Valverde and Daisuke Matsuzaka are expected to make the opening day roster, sportsline.com reported. Valverde, 35, would be in the bullpen, and Matsuzaka, 33, would be the No. 5 starter.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Doug Fister, out since March 2 with elbow inflammation, was cleared to pitch and is scheduled start Saturday. … Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his third straight opening-day start.

RANGERS: Shortstop Elvis Andrus was shut down with elbow problems for the second time this month. He's scheduled to be examined Friday by team doctors. … Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels, will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the season opener March 31.

Liner hits Reds' Chapman in face 03/19/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:04am]

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