ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Sammy Sosa was struck in the side of the head by a pitch from Cliff Lee in Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
The ball bounced off the helmet of the Rangers’ designated hitter, who was on ground for a few minutes before getting to his feet and walking to the dugout.
with the help of a team trainer. Frank Catalanotto entered the game as a pinch runner in place of Sosa.
Before the game, Sosa was honored by the Rangers for hitting his 600th career homer last month.
Juan Marichal and Rico Carty, former baseball stars from Sosa’s native Dominican Republic, were on hand for the ceremony. Sosa’s family and other Dominican dignitaries also attended the ceremony, which included a video message from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who is also Dominican.
Sosa hit the milestone homer June 20 against the Chicago Cubs, becoming the fifth major leaguer to reach 600.
“He’s mighty large in this country,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “There are a lot of people happy for him and I’m one of them.”
The 38-year-old Sosa signed a one-year contract with the Rangers last January after sitting out the entire 2006 season.
He leads the Rangers with 64 RBIs but entered Saturday just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in his previous 14 games.
“It’s a long season but my mind is fresh,” Sosa said. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Sometimes you have to go through a slump and you get back on track. I’m going to continue fighting. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Sosa has been the subject of recent trade speculation, but he said he wants to remain with the Rangers.
“I’m coming to work every day,” Sosa said. “I’m very happy here. If something happens, you deal with that later. Right now, I’m still a Texas Ranger and that’s what counts for me.”