DETROIT (AP) - Texas Rangers right-hander Dustin Nippert escaped serious injury when he was hit in the head by Austin Jackson's line drive in the sixth inning of an 8-6, 14-inning win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
The Rangers said Nippert, who walked off the field under his own power, was taken to a hospital for a CT exam, which was negative. He then returned to the team's hotel.
"We'll probably give him a couple days off, just because you want to be careful when a guy gets hit in the head, but he's OK," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It looked a lot worse than it actually was."
Washington said there was a chance that the Rangers might put Nippert on the disabled list, partially as a precautionary measure but also because their bullpen was severely depleted by Monday's 14-inning game.
Jackson's drive up the middle Monday night appeared to hit Nippert above the ear and ricocheted into shallow left field for a double.
"I was watching the ball, so I saw it hit him," Jackson said. "It's weird, because you want to stop and check on him, but you have to keep running."
Texas catcher Matt Treanor was already sprinting toward the mound before the ball hit the ground, and was quickly joined by teammates and the Rangers training staff.
Nippert was able to sit up almost immediately, and after being examined by trainers, he walked off the field. He was replaced by Darren O'Day.
"That was really tough, because you are worried about your buddy, and then you've got to try to get ready to pitch," O'Day said. "I didn't even know how he was until after the inning, so I had all kinds of things going through my mind. Finally, after the inning, when I got back in the dugout, they told me he was talking and doing OK."