Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hunter hit in jaw by pitch

Torii Hunter went to Abbott Northwestern Hospital during Thursday’s game with the Royals, after being hit in the jaw by a Zack Greinke pitch in the second inning.

Hunter tried to turn away from the high-and-tight pitch, but the ball struck him squarely in the face, knocking him to the ground. Hunter jumped up, flipped off his helmet and took two quick steps toward Greinke. But he either thought better of the impulse to charge the mound, or was overcome by pain, because the Twins’ center fielder immediately stopped, then knelt, then laid back on the turf.

Hunter was spitting blood as the athletic trainer attended to him, and Jason Tyner pinch-ran for him. Two batters later, Jason Bartlett was hit by another pitch, setting off a loud round of boos from the crowd. But a double play quickly ended the inning.

Hunter needed three stitches on the inside of his lip to halt the bleeding. The Twins won't know until Friday whether their center fielder will be available to play in Detroit.

-- Phil Miller