Braves' Uggla hit in neck by pitch, says he's OK
- Article by: MARK DIDTLER
- Associated Press
- March 5, 2013 - 10:10 PM
TAMPA, Fla. - Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla escaped a scary incident without serious injury.
Uggla says he is fine after getting hit by a pitch in the back of the neck during the sixth inning of the Braves' 2-0 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
"There's a little sensation," Uggla said. "I'm good. Luckily, I never went black or anything like that. I feel fine."
Uggla left the game after being struck by minor leaguer Branden Pinder's pitch. He was hit on the ear flap by a pitch last July.
"I know it wasn't intentional," Uggla said of Tuesday's pitch. "But anytime you get hit, especially in the head or shoulder area, your first instinct is get a little angry. You shake it off, and take your base."
Ichiro Suzuki doubled for the Yankees in his first game since being involved in a vehicle accident.
Suzuki was not injured in the crash that totaled his SUV a few miles from Steinbrenner Field after last Saturday's game with Detroit.
"I talked to him and he said he feels great," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Suzuki hit grounders in the first and third, and doubled on his final at-bat during the fifth.
Braves starter Paul Maholm allowed three hits over 3 2-3 scoreless innings, walking four and striking out two during an 81-pitch outing. The left-hander induced an inning-ending fly ball from Chris Stewart with the bases loaded in the first, and got out of two-on, two-out jams during the second and third.
"The pitch sequences were a lot better than they were the last time out," Maholm said. "Getting rid of the walks, the biggest thing for me."
The Yankees will play the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team on Wednesday, a game in which closer Mariano Rivera could make his first game appearance since right knee surgery last June 12. New York second baseman Robinson Cano is on the Dominican Republic squad, which is managed by Yankees bench coach Tony Pena.
New York general manager Brian Cashman was back at the ballpark, one day after he broke his right leg and dislocated the ankle while skydiving. He will be using non-weight bearing crutches for eight weeks.
"I feel surprisingly good," said Cashman, while sitting on a sofa in Girardi's office with his leg elevated on a Yankees' chair late in the game. "I'm not moving very well. I have no pain, which is strange."
Cashman jumped with the U.S. Army Golden Knights in a plane from Homestead Air Reserve Base outside Miami Monday, a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. He was hurt on his second jump.
"I feel bad because the Army guys, I could see in their faces that they felt bad," Cashman said. "I feel like I let them down. I screwed up. You're supposed to keep your legs up at all times, and I had a dangling chad."
Cashman had a plate and eight screws placed in the leg during surgery Monday night.
Atlanta's Justin Upton had an RBI grounder off David Phelps in the first. Phelps went four innings, giving up one run and two hits.
Brett Gardner singled leading off the first on a nine-pitch at-bat against Maholm. The Yankees' outfielder, who finished 2 for 3, has at least one hit in all seven of his spring training games this year.
Yankees reliever David Robertson was scratched after having difficulty getting his shoulder loose in the bullpen. Cashman said right now the problem is a low-level concern.
New York left-hander CC Sabathia, the expected opening-day starter, threw 33 pitches over two innings in a simulated game.
"Felt good. No problems," said Sabathia, who had left elbow bone spur surgery during the offseason. "Now, it's just worry about pitches. Velocity is getting there. So, it's about normal pitching stuff now."
Sabathia is scheduled for another simulated game Sunday.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who had offseason ankle surgery, ran from first to third mutiple times on the infield dirt during pre-game conditioning drills with his teammates. Cashman has said Jeter could play in his first game around March 10.
"We should know in the next few days if that's a real possibiity," Girardi said. "He's doing well. He's progressing the way we want. So, we'll see how he is."
Jeter expects to be ready for opening day Apr. 1 against Boston.
New York right-hander Phil Hughes, sidelined two weeks by an upper back bulging disk, plans to go from 60- to 90-feet in his third level ground throwing session Wednesday.
The Yankees, who started with more than 80 players in camp, issued a number of duplicate uniform numbers this year. In the seventh inning, there were No. 94's at first base, Luke Murton, while another No. 94, Mark Montgomery, was pitching.
NOTES: New York RHP Michael Pineda (shoulder surgery) expects to have his first batting session later this month. He could return in June. ... Braves RHP Jordan Walden remains sidelined due to back tightness. ... New York RHP David Herndon, coming back from elbow ligament replacement surgery last June, threw off a mound for a first time. ... Atlanta LHP Daniel Rodriguez has been added to Mexico's WBC team. ... The Yankees reassigned Cs Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka and Gary Sanchez, INFs Greg Bird, Cito Culver, and Rob Segedin, and OF Tyler Austin to their minor league camp. INF David Adams was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Yankees non-roster invitee Adonis Garcia broke the left hook of hamate and is scheduled for surgery on Thursday. He was hurt while taking batting practice on Sunday.
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