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Associated Press
Tampa Bay’s Jose Lobaton, left, and Kelly Johnson, center, rush in as pitcher Alex Cobb grabs his head after being hit by a line drive by Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning Saturday.

Rays pitcher gets hit in head

Cobb removed on stretcher, has concussion

– 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.”

Cobb 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.

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.

“When they rolled him over, Cobber was talking and that was a good thing,” Rays manager Joe 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.”

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