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Ohlendorf: “I got lucky”

DENVER — Pirates right-hander Ross Ohlendorf was not seriously injured Wednesday when he was struck on the right side of his head by a line drive during the Pirates’ 6-2 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

Ohlendorf was taken by ambulance to nearby Rose Hospital. Results of a CT scan were negative and he returned to Coors Field after being diagnosed with a contusion and abrasions.

“I feel fine,” Ohlendorf said after the game. “I guess I got lucky.”

With two outs and a runner on third base in the first inning, Troy Tulowitzki connected on a fastball away and hit a comebacker. Ohlendorf was following through on his delivery when the ball struck him near the temple.

“It was more than a glancing blow,” manager John Russell said.

Fans sitting behind home plate in the third level of Coors Field were able to hear the sharp crack when the ball connected with Ohlendorf’s head.

“You’re hoping it didn’t hit him in the face,” first baseman Garrett Jones said. “You’re hoping it hit him in the hardest part of the head. Ross must have a thick skull because that ball was hit hard, but he seemed all right.”

Ohlendorf dropped to his knees on the mound and watched as the ball caromed into right field for an RBI single.

Ohlendorf was examined briefly on the field, as Tulowitzki squatted on first base and grimaced.

“It’s funny,” Ohlendorf said. “Last year, (Tulowitzki) hit a ball hard back at me. It hopped up, hit me in the chest and knocked the wind out of me. This one was a line drive.”

After a couple of minutes, Ohlendorf walked off the field, assisted by Pirates head athletic trainer Brad Henderson.

“He said he wanted to stay in the game,” Russell said, grinning.

Ohlendorf hopes to be able to make his next scheduled start. Russell said only that Ohlendorf will be re-evaluated Thursday by doctors and his status is day to day.

Ohlendorf is the second Pirates starting pitcher this season to be struck on the head by a batted ball.

On April 24 in Houston, righty Chris Jakubauskas was hit by Lance Berkman’s line drive. Jakubauskas, who was struck behind the right ear and sustained a concussion, is on the 60-day disabled list.

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