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Toronto Blue Jays' J.A. Happ is attended to by medical personnel as he is taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit in the head by a line drive by Tampa Bay Rays' Desmond Jennings during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Toronto’s Happ released from hospital
MLB » Pitcher hospitalized after taking line drive to the head.
First Published May 08 2013 09:19 am • Last Updated May 08 2013 11:33 pm

St. Petersburg, Fla. • Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ has been released from a Florida hospital, a day after he was hit on the head by a line drive.

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Bayfront Medical Center said in a statement that Happ was discharged after being upgraded from fair to good condition Wednesday. Happ was taken there after being struck on the left side of the head during Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Blue Jays said Happ was responsive and feeling better after sustaining a head bruise and cut to his the left ear.

The hospital released a statement from the pitcher, who said he was in good spirits and appreciated the support he had received from "the baseball community."

Happ’s frightening injury Tuesday night at Tropicana Field left players on both teams shaken and revived questions about whether Major League Baseball is doing enough to protect pitchers who often find themselves in harm’s way on the mound.


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The pitcher raised his glove in front of his face as quickly as he could, a futile attempt to shield himself from the batted ball headed straight for his temple.

It was too late. Thwack!

The sickening sound of a sharply hit baseball striking the Toronto pitcher’s skull could be heard all the way up in the press box.

And then, sheer silence.

Happ was hit squarely on the left side of his head by Desmond Jennings’ second-inning liner during Toronto’s 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The left-hander was immobilized on a backboard, lifted onto a stretcher and wheeled off the field.

It was the latest injury to a pitcher struck by a batted ball in the last few years, and baseball has discussed ways to protect hurlers who ply their craft against the world’s strongest hitters — only 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate.

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