CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Pirates starter Brad Lincoln had a most pleasant exchange with Jimmy Rollins, albeit a very painful one.
The Pittsburgh right-hander was struck in his pitching arm by Rollins' line drive and forced to leave early with a bruise Friday in the Philadelphia Phillies' 3-2 victory.
Lincoln, a big part of the Pirates' future, was hit in the third inning and quickly tracked down the ball near the first-base line. Rollins appeared startled by the accident and slowed down, and Lincoln tapped the Phillies star with his glove for the out.
``He was asking me if I was all right even before I tagged him,' Lincoln said.
The impact of the ball left imprints of the stitches on Lincoln's skin. The bruise is on the outside of his forearm, just below his elbow.
Lincoln, who made his major league debut last year after being the Pirates' No. 1 draft pick in 2006, said there was no reason yet to rule out his next start. He'll be re-evaluated Saturday.
``It's just tight now from the initial shock of getting hit,' he said. ``I'm not overly concerned at this point.'
``It is bad timing' with opening day two weeks away, he acknowledged.
The 25-year-old Lincoln went 1-4 with a 6.66 ERA in 11 games last year after doing well in Triple-A.
The sight - and sound - of him being hit sent a shiver through the ballpark.
``The noise of the ball off the bat was loud,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``The noise of the ball off his arm was loud.'
``Fingers crossed,' Hurdle said.
A few miles away, at roughly the same time Lincoln was hurt, New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett was hit in the backside by a liner during a game against Toronto. Few scenes are more scary in spring training, or at any time, than seeing a pitcher nailed that way.
``That's at the top of your list,' Hurdle said.
Lincoln flexed his right arm a few times and left with a trainer without throwing any practice pitches. He was charged with one run in 2 2-3 innings during his fourth exhibition outing.
A couple of minutes after Lincoln walked off, there was an announcement over the public-address system warning fans to watch out for flying bats and balls. It was coincidence - such advice is routinely dispensed at ballparks.
Lincoln said Rollins hit the comebacker on a changeup. It's a pitch Lincoln is working to perfect.
Phillies starter Roy Oswalt gave up two unearned runs and five hits in six innings, striking out five without a walk.
``I was a little wild early. The first couple of innings I was trying to get my path right, down to the plate. Sometime in the fourth inning I finally felt in sync,' Oswalt said.
``I actually wanted to go one more but I was at 80 pitches,' he said.
The Phillies won on Ryan Gosewisch's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth against Chris Leroux. The winning hit was a hard grounder that handcuffed second baseman Josh Harrison and deflected off his glove into short left-center field. The batter before, Harrison ranged to his left to make a nifty play for the second out.
NOTES: Phillies 2B Chase Utley (right knee) returned to camp after visiting a specialist. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock confirmed Utley's trip, but did not specify who or where the specialist was, nor did he offer an update on how Utley is progressing with his rehab. The All-Star has not played in any of the Phillies 22 exhibition games this spring. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit played for the first time since missing 10 games because of a strained side. It was an ouch of a return - the first time he came up, he was hit by a pitch. ... Phillies closer Brad Lidge (right biceps tendinitis) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session without pain. He was scratched from an appearance on Monday. ... Pittsburgh claimed LHP Garrett Olson off waivers from Seattle. He went 0-3 with one save and a 4.54 ERA last season in a career-high 35 appearances with the Mariners. He had a 5.40 ERA in five spring games this year. The Pirates put RHP Kevin Hart on the 60-day disabled list while he recovers from surgery on his right shoulder surgery. ... Phillies 3B Placido Polanco (left elbow hyper-extension) took infield practice for the second straight day. He hopes to begin hitting in the next couple of days.
The Associated Press News Service
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