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Former Guardians player hit in the head by 99 mph fastball vs. Pirates

Tampa Bay Rays' Amed Rosario, front right, reacts after getting hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jared Jones during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

PITTSBURGH — Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Amed Rosario left Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after being hit in the head with a 99 mph fastball from Pirates rookie Jared Jones.

Jones’ third pitch to the right-handed Rosario went up and in, striking Rosario’s helmet.

Rosario crouched over for several moments at scorching PNC Park — where the game-time temperature was 95 degrees — before being helped off the field by members of the Tampa Bay training staff.

The Rays said Rosario sustained facial cuts. Manager Kevin Cash said Rosario had a “stitch or two” on his lip but called the outcome a “best-case scenario.”

“That was a scary moment for both clubs, certainly our club and I’m glad he’s OK,” Cash said.

Richie Palacios pinch-ran for Rosario. Palacios then took over at second base at the bottom of the first, while starting second baseman José Caballero slid over to third to take Rosario’s spot on defense.

Rosario was the second Tampa player hit by Jones in the top of the first. The right-hander hit designated hitter Brandon Lowe in the side earlier.

Control hasn’t been an issue much this year for Jones, who entered Saturday with 22 walks and two hit batters in 79 innings.

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