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Darvish struck in head during Rangers practice

July 9, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish was cleared of any bad injury after being struck on the top of the head by a batted ball while throwing in the outfield during batting practice on Tuesday.

The Texas Rangers said Darvish was examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister before Tuesday night’s game against Houston, and that “everything appears to be OK.”

Darvish is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday against the Astros. But the Rangers said Darvish would be re-evaluated before the game as a precaution.

The Japanese pitcher had just made a throw when he was struck by the batted ball. Clearly stunned, the Japanese ace dropped into a squat momentarily before getting up, wiping his brow and appearing to check his head with his fingers. He then put his cap back on and finished his throwing session in right field with other pitchers.

Rangers left-hander Derek Holland was shagging balls in front of Darvish. The ball glanced off Holland’s glove before hitting Darvish.

“I heard it,” Holland said. “I was supposed to be protecting him but I just couldn’t get to the ball. It was too high. I didn’t get high enough. He’s fine.”

Darvish, who joined Kenny Rogers as the only three-time All-Star pitchers for the Rangers, is 8-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 16 starts this season. His 134 strikeouts are fifth in the majors, but his 11 strikeouts per nine innings are the most.

Wednesday is Darvish’s last scheduled appearance before the All-Star break. Before his expected start last Thursday was pushed back a day because of weather concerns in Baltimore, the right-hander had been on track to start Sunday in the last game before the break. A pitcher who works Sunday cannot throw in the All-Star game.

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