Braves pitcher Jackson Stephens hit in head by line drive

ST. LOUIS — Atlanta Braves reliever Jackson Stephens was placed on the seven-day injured list after he was hit in the side of the head by a line drive during Friday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Stephens, 28, suffered a concussion when he was struck in the right temple by a line drive off the bat of the Cardinals’ Brendan Donovan, ESPN reported. With one out in the ninth inning and two runners on base, Donovan blistered a line drive that caromed off Stephens and into shallow right field for an RBI single.

Stephens, who came to Atlanta from the Cincinnati Reds organization this year, staggered slightly after he was struck but never went down.

He walked off the field under his own power after being checked by the Braves’ trainers, ESPN reported.

“He’s aware and everything, but he’s going to have to go to the hospital and get some tests,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Atlanta’s 11-4 victory. “It’s always scary when you see somebody get hit in the head, the face. That’s probably the most sickening thing you can witness in a game.”

The incident comes nearly a month after Miami Marlins pitcher Daniel Castano suffered a mild concussion after he was hit in the head by a line drive in Cincinnati. Castro suffered a mild concussion.

Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider said Friday night’s play was like “the .01% that really scares you in baseball.”

“He’s a tough, hard-headed guy. He wore it pretty well, and I think he’s going to be all right,” Strider told reporters. “And walked right off like a champ. Right away, you could tell it hit his head, and it was serious, but I think he’s going to be all right. He’s a tough guy, so he should be good.”

In 32 games this season, Stephens is 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA, according to Baseball-Reference.com.