PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks took another hit Friday night, and this one was particularly gruesome.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius suffered a bruised right temple when he was struck in the head by a Josh Outman 94 mph fastball in the seventh inning of the D-backs’ 6-3 loss to the Rockies on Friday.
Gregorius, who extended his hitting streak to a season-long seven games with a single in the fourth inning, lay in the left-hand batter’s box for several moments before sitting up. He walked off the field under his own power and passed a verbal test to determine his cognitive level in the clubhouse, manager Kirk Gibson said.
“It showed no neurological problems,” Gibson said.
Gregorius was taken to a hospital for a CT scan and is a candidate for the seven-day disabled list, Gibson added. That list was specifically implemented several years ago to accommodate players with possible concussion symptoms.
And perhaps no one knew how Gregorius felt more than Brandon McCarthy, who went six innings Friday and was in the clubhouse when Gregorius was struck by the pitch. McCarthy missed the final month of 2012 after suffering a brain contusion and a skull fracture when he was struck on the right side of the head by an Erick Aybar line drive.
“I’m sure it was kind of scary moment for him,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy underwent surgery the night he was hit to stabilize the fracture, although initially it appeared that Gregorius’s injury was not as severe. While it is a good sign that Gregorius passed the immediate cognitive tests, McCarthy cautioned that by itself is not an all-clear signal.
“I passed all mine. They don’t tell you a whole lot other than whether you are screwed up at the moment. I’m glad his came back OK,” he said.
The D-backs had no beef with Outman, who was obviously shaken after hitting Gregorius and gave up a double to Alfredo Marte before being replaced by Matt Belisle. Neither runner scored.
“Just a fastball that got away,” said Outman, a left-hander.
“Obviously the last thing I want to do there is hit somebody, especially hard in the head. I heard on TV that he’s OK, so I’m very happy to hear that, and I wish him a full and speedy recovery. It’s unnerving any time that happens.”
Gregorius opened the season on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his right elbow and was activated April 16, when the D-backs placed Aaron Hill on the disabled list with a broken left hand.
Gregorius has hit safely in all seven of his D-backs’ games, tallying four doubles and two home runs. He is batting .407.
The D-backs already have Hill, starting outfielders Adam Eaton and Jason Kubel, handyman Willie Bloomquist and starting pitcher Daniel Hudson on the disabled list.