Francisco Liriano taken to hospital after ball ricochets off neck

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Blue Jays pitcher Francisco Liriano left Friday's 5-3 victory over the Rangers in the American League Division Series after getting hit in the neck by a line-drive single off the bat of Texas outfielder Carlos Gomez.

Wearing a neck brace and lying on a stretcher, he was taken to the hospital for an examination after the game. The Blue Jays later said he was cleared to fly home with the team Friday evening.

A source with the team told ESPN's Marly Rivera that "he was alert and looked like he was doing well."

Liriano walked off the mound under his own power after being hit by Gomez's liner. The ball appeared to ricochet from just below Liriano's head into center field for a run-scoring single in the eighth inning.

The hit was measured at 102 mph, and Gomez winced as he headed to first.

"It's tough to see that, but it's part of the game," Gomez said. "Just wait for the good news that he's OK."

Liriano, 32, stayed on his feet and walked around the infield briefly before his teammates, a trainer and manager John Gibbons came out to check on him. He stayed briefly in the dugout, where he got a drink of water, before going to the trainers room.

"Anytime you get a head injury, you have to get it looked at," Gibbons said after the game. "So that's about the extent of it right now."

"It was a very scary situation; I hope everything goes well for him. I'm going to pray for him," Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion said.

"That was scary," said starter J.A. Happ, who in 2013 was hit by a line drive that fractured his skull behind his left ear but did not cause a concussion. It healed on its own.

"I don't know exactly what's going on but I'm thinking about him a lot. He's gone from here now so I'm hoping for the best for the results, but yeah, that was scary," Happ said.

Roberto Osuna replaced Liriano and helped seal the victory for the Blue Jays.

"That could happen to anyone of us," Osuna said. "I feel bad for him but I know he's going to be all right."

Toronto has a 2-0 series lead over Texas.

ESPN's Jim Caple and Marly Rivera and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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