Huff carted off after line drive to head

Updated: May 29, 2010, 10:12 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Cleveland Indians pitcher David Huff was taken off the field on a stretcher and driven by ambulance to the hospital after being hit in the head with a line drive off the bat of Alex Rodriguez in the third inning of Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium.

Huff took the impact above his left ear. He suffered no memory loss or loss of consciousness. A CT scan performed on Huff at the hospital came back negative but the pitcher was kept several hours for observation.

Rodriguez's drive hit Huff above the left ear and he lay face down and motionless on the pitcher's mound as the ball caromed into right field. Nick Swisher, who had been on first base, came around to score the Yankees' second run of the game.

Huff was immediately attended to by the team trainer and paramedics as his teammates and several Yankees watched anxiously.

Rodriguez took a knee behind the mound and slammed his helmet. He remained there with his head bowed for a minute before going into the dugout.

After a delay of more than eight minutes, Huff was strapped to the stretcher, his head immobilized, and driven to an ambulance waiting beyond the center-field fence. As he was carted off, the pitcher flashed a thumbs-up sign to the hushed Yankee Stadium crowd, which responded with cheers.

About three hours after being taken to the hospital, the pitcher was back in the clubhouse, smiling with the relieved Indians after their remarkable, come-from-behind 13-11 victory Saturday over the Yankees.

As he rode the team bus back to the hotel with his parents and brother, the 25-year-old left-hander got a phone call from A-Rod.

Rodriguez was on his way to the hospital when Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo called him, telling the star that Huff had returned to the stadium.

Zillo said Rodriguez told him in a phone conversation: "Your heart stops. You want so badly to take it back."

Huff and his parents appreciated Rodriguez's call, Indians spokesman Bart Swain said.

Huff was not available after the game, but was seen in a hallway off-limits to the media.

"He's doing well, we'll find out more tomorrow," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He did not have any concussive symptoms right now."

Huff was making just the ninth start of his two-year major league career and first against the Yankees. Cleveland went on to win 13-11.

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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