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In-game: Lincoln bruised by liner

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Righty Brad Lincoln left today’s game against the Phils due to a contusion near his right elbow, but he said the injury is not serious. Lincoln was struck by a line drive.

“It got all meat (muscle),” Lincoln said. “There was no bone-on-bone or anything like that, which is a good sign. It’s a little tight right now, so we’ll put some ice on it and re-evaluate it tomorrow. Right now, I feel OK to go about my business and do what I need to do. The real test will be how it feels tomorrow.”

Lincoln was smacked by Jimmy Rollins’ liner in the third inning. Lincoln fielded the ball and tagged Rollins out, but left the game after being checked on the field by trainer Brad Henderson. “(Rollins) was slowing down and asked me if I was all right before I even tagged him,” Lincoln said with a laugh.

Lincoln worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit. Michael Martinez walked to start the third, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on Rollins’ play. After Lincoln left, reliever Chris Resop gave up an RBI double to Shane Victorino.

“The control issue was a factor today,” Lincoln said. “I never did get in a groove. My arm felt great; it was just that I couldn’t find it out there on the mound. But I was able to bounce back from 3-1 and 3-2 counts and get outs. I battled out there. I didn’t have my sharpest stuff, but I was able to get outs.”

The timing of the injury is not good for Lincoln, who is on the fringe of the battle for the No. 5 starter’s job.

“It’s bad timing, but it’s not like we’ve ruled out my next start already,” Lincoln said. “I’m not overly concerned about it right now.”

Today was Lincoln’s fourth outing (second start) this spring. In 10 2/3 innings, he allowed six hits, four runs and four walks and gotten five strikeouts. His ERA is 3.38.

Lincoln has been working on refining his changeup. Today, he used the pitch with mixed results.

“That’s actually what Rollins hit,” Lincoln said. “I threw it five or six times. A lot of times, it will help me get back on my fastball. With the elasticity of my fastball today, the changeup was one of those pitches to get me back in the zone.”

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