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Royals lose Saturday

6/16/2013

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A scary moment involving Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb overshadowed the Rays victory.

Cobb

was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was hit on the right

ear by a liner off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer in the fifth

inning of the Rays' 5-3 win over the Royals on Saturday.

Rays

spokesman Rick Vaughn said all tests were normal and that Cobb suffered

a mild concussion. Cobb was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St.

Petersburg, where he will spent the night.

Cobb tweeted Saturday

night: "Can't thank everyone enough for the prayers. Was the only way

for me to make it out of there ok. Look forward to getting back out

there."

He put a hand on his head after being struck. Trainers

from both teams and other medical staff immediately ran onto the field.

Cobb could be seen kicking his legs while being examined on the mound.

The team said Cobb remained conscious the whole time.

Players

on both teams had hands on their heads as a stunned silence overtook

Tropicana Field after the crowd gasped when Cobb was struck. Rays head

athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and Dr. Michael Reilly went with Cobb

to the hospital.

Tampa Bay pitcher David Price visited Cobb in the

hospital and tweeted: "Cobber is way more tough than me!! Laughing at

jokes and the name they gave him!! Please keep him and his family in

your prayers."

"He seemed pretty normal, so that was good," Price

said after returning to the ballpark. "Our hearts are with him. He told

me that Porterfield was making him really mad on the field because he

wouldn't let him stand up, so it was good that he wanted to be able to

stand up. He knew where he was. It's amazing that he is in the condition

I feel like he is in right now."

Hosmer's drive bounced back toward the plate area, where catcher Jose Lobaton picked up the ball and threw him out at first.

"He

hit it so hard (Cobb) couldn't even react, and it makes everybody in

the stadium sick to their stomach when something like that happens," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Hosmer said he didn't even want to run to first.

"I

just wanted to see how he was doing," Hosmer said. "You hate to see

that, especially Alex having a great year. It's just scary stuff, man.

I'm glad he's alright. I know he's been talking and having

conversations."

Hosmer, and Cobb's former teammates James Shields and Elliot Johnson planned to visit the pitcher at the hospital.

"I just want to go there and show him I care how he's doing," Hosmer said.

Cobb

being hit came a month after Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ was also

struck by a liner against the Rays and suffered a skull fracture. Happ

was discharged from an area hospital the following day.

The sound

of the ball striking Cobb — which sounded like a bat hitting a ball —

could be heard in the press box and throughout the ballpark.

"I

think everybody heard it," Rays right fielder Matt Joyce said. "The

loudest and worst ball hitting somebody I've ever seen. Obviously the

same happened with Happ here and that was terrifying, too. But man, that

one caught him square."

Rays players, manager Joe Maddon and

pitching coach Jim Hickey gathered at the mound during the 11-minute

delay. Shortstop Yunel Escobar was in squatting position looking down at

the ground, while Hickey appeared at time at be nervously pacing near

the mound.

"When they rolled him over, Cobber was talking and that

was a good thing," Maddon said. "It's one of those really, really bad

moments. It's part of the game and it stinks sometimes. Just a horrible

moment to witness. It doesn't happen often, thank God, but when it does

it can really give you pause. We were very lucky. Of course Alex was

very lucky."

"I thought our medical staff did a great job," Maddon

added. "They were beyond professional with how they dealt with the

entire moment."

It has been a tough week for Cobb, who left the

team after starting Monday night's game against Boston due to the death

of his grandmother. He was informed of the death after the game in which

the 25-year old gave up a season-high six runs over four innings in a

10-8, 14-inning loss to the Red Sox.

"So everything's looking

positive and from everything I've heard, he has a laceration on his ear

and a concussion," Shields said. "Hopefully it's just that."

Luke

Scott, Joyce and Evan Longoria homered for the Rays, who had lost five

of six. Alex Torres (2-0) replaced Cobb and struck out four over 1 2-3

scoreless innings. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 14th save

in 19 opportunities.

"I'm still shaking," Torres said.

Joyce hit a solo homer off Jeremy Guthrie (7-4) in the fifth that put the Rays up 4-2 and ended the Royals' 13-game stretch of limiting opponents to three runs or fewer.

"Such

a heart-wrenching and terrible thing to happen on a baseball field, but

at the same time you have to finish the game," Joyce said. "The only

thing you can do is just pray that he's OK and pray for a speedy

recovery."

Guthrie gave up five runs and eight hits over seven innings.

Scott

hit his first homer since May 19, a two-run drive during the third as

Tampa Bay grabbed a 3-2 lead. Scott, who had make all of his 29 previous

starts this season at designated hitter, started in left field with

third baseman Longoria moving into the DH role.

Longoria, bothered

the past two weeks by plantar fasciitis in his right foot, was the DH

for the third straight game. He made it 5-2 on a sixth-inning solo homer

and also had a sacrifice fly in the first.

Longoria is expected to DH again Sunday and could play in the field when the Rays start a road trip Tuesday at Boston.

The Royals

took a 2-1 lead in the second when Alex Gordon walked on a 3-2 pitch

with the bases loaded and Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly. Salvador Perez cut

the deficit to 5-3 on a solo homer in the eighth.

Perez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first.

NOTES:

Cobb allowed two runs and four hits in 4 1-3 innings. ... Tampa Bay LHP

David Price (left triceps strain) had a 25-pitch bullpen session and

could start a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday. The AL Cy Young

Award winner may rejoin the Rays in late June or early July. ... Royals

RHP Wade Davis (3-5) will pitch against his former team for the first

time Sunday. "I'm not going to smile ... there's no smiling," Davis

said. "We're trying to win games over here. We're trying to get in a

good position over here." Roberto Hernandez (4-6) will start for the

Rays.