– Initially it appeared a line drive by Jesus Sucre on Tuesday had struck Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels squarely in the left jaw in the third inning.

Even replays seemed to show the ball hitting Hamels’ cheek. Fortunately for him, his left shoulder took the full force of the impact instead. Hamels threw seven innings in Texas’s 9-6 win over Seattle.

“Luckily enough, it hit the muscle that I guess I have on me,” Hamels said. “It absorbed everything it could. I’m sure I’ll have a nice bruise in the next couple days.”

Hamels managed to deflect Sucre’s ball with his glove before it hit him, causing the lefthander to stumble and fall.

After Rangers’ staff checked him, Hamels (9-8) got out of the jam with just one run allowed.

ASSOCIATED PRESS