CINCINNATI – Daniel Castano was hit on the forehead by a 104 mph line drive off the bat of Donovan Solano in the first inning of the Miami Marlins’ 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
The ball hit the bill of his cap and ricocheted off the crown, manager Don Mattingly said. The team said Castano showed mild concussion symptoms and was bruised, and a CT scan was normal.
“I'm not sure what happened,” Castano said after the game, wearing a bandage on his forehead where some skin had scraped off. “I was down for a second. I was a little out of it. When I woke up, I asked, ‘What happened?' I'm much better now. I'm a little bit tired, but I'll be all right."
The 27-year-old left-hander fell to the field on his knees and held a hand to his head as Mattingly, catcher Jacob Stallings and athletic trainers went to the mound to check on him. Castano did not appear to lose consciousness, and the door on the outfield fence opened as a cart prepared to enter the field before Castano walked off on his own.
“It's a little bit scary,” Mattingly said after talking on the phone with Reds manager David Bell, who called to check on Castano. “Your biggest fear is damage. He's about as good as could be expected.”
“It is really awful to see that happen to anyone," Bell said. "I’ve seen it happen before. I had a conversation to see that every thing was OK. It is just a major relief to hear that. It’s very scary for everyone involved, certainly for their pitcher and their home team and our team. You almost want to stop playing the game. When he was kneeling and walked off on his own, we all felt a little better.”
Castano rose to his feet about 90 seconds later and left the field under his own power, a towel draped over his neck, after Solano walked over, put a hand on his shoulder and spoke with the pitcher.
The ball was hit so hard it caromed to third baseman Joey Wendle, who caught it for the out.
“I’m just glad we got the out,” Castano said, smiling.
Castano faced just five batters before getting hurt. He is 2-7 in 17 starts and five relief appearances in his big league career. He was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville to make the start.
“They say the farther it goes, the better off you are,” Mattingly said. “If it hits you and drops straight down, that means you caught it flush.”
Castano said he had never before been hit by a comebacker.
“That’s terrifying," Reds starter Graham Ashcraft said. "You never want to see a player hurt like that. I was waiting to see blood coming out. I thought he got hit in cheek or his eye bone or something. I am hoping he’s OK. My prayers go out to him and his family. I hope he can come back and make his next start.”
Before the game, the Marlins said 23-year-old right-hander Max Meyer will have Tommy John surgery. Meyer left his second major league start on Friday in Pittsburgh after throwing 10 pitches.
Miami earned a split of the four-game series by overcoming a 5-4, ninth-inning deficit. Pinch-hitter Jesús Sánchez led off the inning with a home run off Hunter Strickland (2-3), who walked Luke Williams and hit Stallings with a pitch.
Wendle hit a go-ahead double against Buck Farmer, and Jesús Aguilar followed with sacrifice fly for his fourth RBI. Aguilar finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Zach Pop (2-0), the sixth of seven Marlins pitchers, threw a perfect eighth.
Tanner Scott overcame a pair of two-out walks and Tommy Pham’s RBI single for his 14th save in 18 chances, striking out Joey Votto for the final out with two on.
Strickland blew a save for the third time in nine chances.
Ashcraft allowed four runs — three earned — and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Tyler Naquin homered for the Reds.
The crowd of 14,506 was Cincinnati's 24th under 15,000 this season.
Marlins: RHP Jordan Holloway was put on the 15-day IL with a right elbow impingement.
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.81) starts Friday against the New York Mets in a home series opener. He allowed six hits over seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Mets, on July 10.
Reds: LHP Mike Minor (1-7, 6.65) is scheduled to be on the mound Friday in a series opener against visiting Baltimore. He is 0-4 in five starts since winning at Arizona on June 13.
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