- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

KISSIMMEE, FLA. (AP) - Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was awake and able to respond to doctors Wednesday after being hit in the face by Brian McCann’s foul liner while standing in the dugout during an exhibition game.

Salazar may have sustained a concussion and might have a facial fracture and damage around his left eye, Braves general manager Frank Wren said.

Salazar was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center and was to stay overnight. Wren did not have an official hospital report.

“We are just blessed that Luis is alive,” Wren said after St. Louis beat Atlanta 6-1. “The scans so far have been positive.”

Wren said Salazar was unconscious when an ambulance drove onto the field in the first inning to help the 54-year-old former big leaguer. Wren said Salazar was hit around the nose, toward his left eye.

“That was the worst thing I have ever seen on the field,” Braves star Chipper Jones said. “He wasn’t awake at all. He was out of it. I just looked at him to see if he was breathing. I thought his life might be in danger.”

The game was delayed nearly 20 minutes while medical personnel tended to Salazar.

Mariners 9, Dodgers 4

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Dodgers pitcher Jon Garland left early because of pain in his left side and will get examined, a setback for Los Angeles during its loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Garland took himself out after one pitch to Josh Wilson with two outs in the second inning. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Garland may have hurt his oblique, an injury that often takes a while to heal.

Garland has been projected as the team’s No. 5 starter. He gave up one hit and one unearned run.

Mariners starter Doug Fister had a nice outing, limiting the Dodgers to one run, a homer by Rod Barajas, in four innings.

Rangers 9, Athletics 2

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) _ Neftali Feliz struck out four in three scoreless innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics.

The AL Rookie of the Year posted 40 saves last year, then came to camp trying to win a spot in the Texas rotation. Earlier this week, he said he’d prefer to stay in his closer role.

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