Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves is attended to by training staff after being hit by a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies at SunTrust Park on June 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images
Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images

Scary moment: Sean Newcomb struck by liner, exits start

Sean Newcomb exited his start Saturday after the Braves pitcher was hit in the back of the neck by a line drive. The team is optimistic Newcomb avoided a severe injury.

Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto hit the ball that ricocheted off Newcomb’s neck area in the third inning. Braves manager Brian Snitker, trainer George Poulis and teammates checked on Newcomb on the mound. He was escorted out of the game, under his own power, and relieved by Touki Toussaint.

Newcomb underwent concussion protocol at SunTrust Park and passed testing, the team said. They’ll follow up on him Sunday.

“We’re just going to keep monitoring,” Snitker said. “He’s passed the tests. You just don’t know with an injury like that. Hopefully he gets through the night, sleeps and he wakes up and comes in here good. He’s got a mark on his head. But even when he was out on the field, he knew what happened. He didn’t go out or anything. So hopefully we dodged a bullet.”

Newcomb pitched 2-2/3 innings and allowed three hits, two unearned runs with three strikeouts and two walks. 

“Right away I felt pretty good,” Newcomb said. “I was with it the whole time. I remember the play and all that stuff. I just got squared up in the head so I’m sore.” 

Realmuto was visibly shaken up running to first, immediately covering his mouth with both hands. Tyler Flowers consoled him.

“He had a pretty severe reaction right away,” Flowers said. “So you always want to know with those things. Everything Newk was saying felt pretty promising at that time, so I didn’t want him worrying about that on a personal level.”

Newcomb was making a spot start with Kevin Gausman on the injured list and Dallas Keuchel prepping to join the rotation. The southpaw struggled as a starter earlier in the season, but has since found success in a relief role.

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