- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) - Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward has been hit in the right jaw by a pitch and taken to a hospital for X-rays.

Heyward was struck by a 90 mph fastball from New York Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese in the sixth inning Wednesday. The impact made a loud noise, and the crowd groaned as Heyward crumpled to the ground.

He stayed down on his back for about three minutes before getting helped to his feet. Heyward walked slowly off the field under his own power, escorted by a trainer, and was replaced by Jordan Schafer.

Visibly concerned, Niese tapped himself with his glove as Heyward walked off, and Heyward appeared to acknowledge him.


An inning later, the Mets announced that Heyward was examined by their doctors before he was taken to the hospital for further examination.

On a tear at the plate since moving into the leadoff spot last month, Heyward began the day batting .254 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs. Atlanta entered with a 15-game lead in the NL East.