Oswalt hit near ear by Ramirez liner, walks off
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 2:17 AM
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Knocked to the ground by a line drive to the neck, Roy Oswalt stayed down for nearly a minute. Then, he rose to his feet and walked off the mound on his own.
That was a good sign for the Philadelphia Phillies. The team felt even better after X-rays revealed Manny Ramirez's liner that hit Oswalt behind the right ear left nothing beyond a bruise the team says may not prevent him from making his next scheduled start.
"He's all right. X-rays said he's all right," manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday. "When he got up he was OK."
The defending NL East champions said the 33-year-old right-hander did not lose consciousness and was not dizzy before leaving in the fourth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Oswalt fell to the ground and remained there until Manuel and a trainer reached the mound to check on him. He eventually got up and walked to the visiting clubhouse in the right-field corner, receiving a standing ovation from some of the Rays, as well as an announced crowd of 6,613.
"Fortunately it was not driven in a manner that could have really caused some damage," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Our guys were very concerned up on the dugout. I liked the fact that our guys were applauding for him as he walked off the field, you never want to see that happen."
Oswalt was taken for X-rays and left the ballpark without meeting with reporters. Manuel agreed with Maddon that the pitcher was lucky the ball was not hit as hard as if could have been.
"I knew it hit him on the side of the head, but Manny didn't really hit the ball hard," Manuel said. "He hit the ball OK, but he didn't really crush it. It hit him (flush), I guess. It didn't cut him or nothing, though."
Evan Longoria homered leading off the fourth against Oswalt. Ramirez, who had a RBI double in the first, was the next batter.
Oswalt, making his fourth spring training appearance, struck out four while allowing three runs and four hits.
"He just kind of grinned and said he was all right," Manuel said, adding that he wasn't surprised Oswalt was able to get off the ground so quickly.
"It's what you're supposed to do if you're not hurting real bad," Manuel said. "He felt it, and it hurt him, too. But he was OK. At the same time, you've still got to make sure he's all right. He's gotta come out of the game, and he's got to go get it checked out."
Luis Castillo was playing second base for Philadelphia at the time.
"He could get up and walk by his self," Castillo said. "That's good news."
James Shields pitched seven scoreless innings for Tampa Bay, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out four.
B.J. Upton and Anthony Scelfo joined Ramirez and Longoria in driving in runs for the Rays. The Phillies scored on Erik Kratz's ninth-inning single off Cesar Cabral.
Oswalt struck out the side in the second, fanning Upton, Felipe Lopez and Kelly Shoppach.
Manuel said the Phillies will monitor Oswalt over the next few days.
"We'll probably be real cautious with him for a couple of days to make sure he doesn't have a concussion or something like that or no aftereffects or setbacks or whatever. And we'll just go from there," the manager said. "I'd say there's a good chance he makes his next start."