Dykstra shakes off shiner to get first career hit

TORONTO (AP) Nothing could take the shine off Allan Dykstra’s first major league hit. Not even a shiner.

The Tampa Bay Rays first baseman sustained a bruised left eye after he fouled a bunt attempt off his face during batting practice Monday.

Rays trainers kept the swelling down by applying ice and cold spoons to the eye and Dykstra was able to play. He made the start worthwhile, hitting a single off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the fourth inning for his first career hit.

”Against a Cy Young Award winner it’s pretty special,” said Dykstra, who came in 0 for 9.

Dykstra eventually came around to score the decisive run on a bases-loaded walk as the Rays beat the Blue Jays 2-1.

While Dykstra said there was no question of him missing Monday’s game, Rays manager Kevin Cash wasn’t so sure.

”I was throwing BP to him,” Cash said. ”It seemed like every time he got back in the cage for every round (the eye) got darker.

”It messed up my whole round of BP,” Cash added. ”That’s the highlight of my day and I was kind of buckled by what was going on.”

Dykstra got hit on the second pitch of batting practice after successfully bunting the first ball he faced. A 6-foot-5 slugger who hit 91 homers in seven minor league seasons, Dykstra acknowledged not spending much time practicing bunts.

”I guess I still have to work on it a little bit,” he said.

With left-handers Daniel Norris and Mark Buehrle set to start for the Blue Jays Tuesday and Wednesday, the left-handed Dykstra is expected to be held out of Tampa Bay’s starting lineup.