Jakubauskas' injuries don't appear serious
Pitcher spends night in hospital after being hit by comebacker
HOUSTON -- The news was better than what was first feared for Pirates right-hander Chris Jakubauskas.
Results from a CAT scan on Saturday night were negative for the Pittsburgh hurler, who was hit on the back of the head, above the right ear, by a line drive off the bat of the Astros' Lance Berkman in the first inning of Saturday's game at Minute Maid Park.
"It's as good as could be expected. He doesn't seem to have a concussion. He was conscious and was answering questions," said Pirates manager John Russell, thankful that Jakubauskas wasn't hurt worse. "It was very frightening. Now it puts the game in perspective."
It was a scary moment when Berkman hit a screamer directly towards the face of Jakubauskas, who was making his 2010 Major League debut and was called up on Friday from Triple-A Indianapolis.
"I just wanted to pray for him," Berkman said. "That's a scary situation. That's probably the most rattling thing I've been a part of in the big leagues. There's really not much I could do. I just wanted to be over there and lend any support that I could."
Jakubauskas fell instantly to the ground and immediately began kicking his feet. Just as quickly, the Pirates' medical staff was on the mound for treatment. Berkman, too, quickly rushed over for support, after reaching first base safely.
"I talked to [Berkman], and he was really shaken up by it," said Pirates first baseman Bobby Crosby. "He really cared. He's a good guy. The fans in Houston should be very proud of Berkman."
After several minutes, Jakubauskas, who never lost consciousness, sat up on the pitching mound. For several more minutes, trainers attended to the right-hander, who was speaking immediately.
"It's better than him being silent," said Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche. "It shows you it's only a game. It's tough to get back in the game and focus after that."
About 10 minutes after being hit by the line drive, Jakubauskas was helped to his feet and taken off the field on a cart. He was examined by Astros team physician David Lintner and sent to Methodist Hospital in Houston. Jakubauskas will spend the night there for observation.
"Everybody is feeling for him," said Russell. "He's in a good hospital."
"In reality, baseball is very important," said Astros right fielder Hunter Pence. "But it is never as important as someone's life. It was very scary to see that happen, and I think everyone could say they didn't feel good seeing that happen. It was good to see him at least stand up and get off the field. You wish him the best."
Jakubauskas faced only four batters and was hit on his 12th pitch. The batted ball hit the hurler squarely and rolled straight back to home plate.
"It was scary," said Pirates reliever Jack Taschner. "I hope I don't have to see anything like that again, no matter which side of the field I'm on."
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.