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Umpire hit in head by broken bat shard

Umpire hit in head by broken bat shard
The Texas Rangers put an end to Roy Halladay's perfect start to the season in a game delayed 10 minutes when the barrel of a broken bat struck home plate umpire Kerwin Danley in the side of the head.

Ian Kinsler clubbed a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning of a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.

But much of the drama in a terrific game was lost amid concern for Danley, who never lost consciousness but was taken off the field on a stretcher and to hospital for examination.

Halladay sawed off Hank Blalock at the hands during the sixth inning, and as the DH followed through on his swing, the barrel separated from the handle and flew full speed into Danley's hockey-style mask.

He immediately collapsed and Jays catcher Rob Barajas motioned to the dugout for help as Blalock's soft infield popper was caught by shortstop Marco Scutaro.

Players left the field as Danley was attended to before a hushed crowd of 20,996. The 47-year-old was also briefly knocked unconscious when a Brad Penny fastball hit him right in the face mask during a game last April 26 in L.A.

Hunter Wendelstedt moved from second base to behind home plate and was calling balls and strikes when Kinsler broke a 3-3 tie with his two-run drive to right off Halladay (3-1) in the seventh.

Adam Lind's RBI single in the eighth off reliever C.J. Wilson made it a one-run game, but there would be no rally for the Blue Jays (10-5), whose offence cooled off while taking two of three from Oakland over the weekend and never got in gear against Brandon McCarthy (2-0) and the Rangers (6-7).

Frank Francisco came on with one on and one out in the eighth and loaded the bases before Barajas lined out to third and Travis Snider flew out to end the frame. Francisco followed with a quiet ninth for his second save.

While Texas had lost seven of nine coming in, the Rangers have been tougher on Halladay than any other American League team. He gave up five runs in eight innings while striking out nine and now has a career ERA of 5.36 against Texas in 20 career outings.

Texas opened the scoring in the second when Nelson Cruz ripped a two-run shot after Marlon Byrd's flare dropped in front of a charging Alex Rios for a double.

The Blue Jays fought back with a pair in the third when Rios crushed an RBI double to centre off the glove of a leaping Josh Hamilton, and Vernon Wells followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Rangers went back up in the fourth when Chris Davis blooped a two-out RBI single to right for a 3-2 edge, but Aaron Hill's solo shot in the fifth knotted things up again.

All the tension made for an exciting night in the stands, even with the beer taps shut off for the second time this season as a penalty for previous violations of the stadium's liquor licence.

The Blue Jays' fast start has created some buzz around the city, although euphoric fans dreaming of the post-season after two good weeks should heed manager Cito Gaston's pre-game words.

"If you're still hanging around first place in three months, you've certainly got a chance,'' he said. "That means you've played well, you've won a lot of games and you don't really have to put together that many more to stay there, even for a wild card. So I'm thinking maybe three months in and you're still up there, than you've done great.''

Notes: Rios entered the game in a 3-for-28 rut and has been the subjected to boos. "He's not getting his hands going early enough,'' said Gaston. "He's behind and then he's taking a lot of fastballs he shouldn't be taking.'' . . . Thanks to their off-day Monday, the Blue Jays rearranged their rotation to have Halladay pitch on normal rest.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 22, 2009

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