Line drive hits Clement's head

Line drive hits Clement's head

ST. PETERSBURG -- Boston right-hander Matt Clement was struck with a line drive by Carl Crawford with one out in the bottom of the third in the Red Sox-Devil Rays game at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

The force of the drive appeared to knock Clement off his feet, with the ball ricocheting off the back of his head, behind the right ear, into short left field for an RBI single for the Devil Rays' first run.

Teammates immediately surrounded the fallen right-hander, who remained on the ground, mostly motionless, for about five minutes before being lifted onto a stretcher. He was immobilized with a neck brace, with his arms strapped to his chest, before being removed from the field.

Clement was transported to nearby Bayfront Medical Center.

"I have spoken with Matt and his doctor in Florida," Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill said in a statement. "Matt himself never lost consciousness and is in good spirits, and the results of CAT scan were negative. He appears to be doing well."

Clement will stay overnight in the hospital as a precautionary measure, and be re-evaluated Wednesday morning.

Chad Bradford replaced Clement, with the Red Sox leading, 5-1. The Devil Rays went on to score five runs in the inning, tying it at 5.

"I was very relieved when he was, you know, coherent and speaking and seemed to be aware of his surroundings," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It gets a little tense. For one second, you want to get an out, and then you stop caring about the out and start caring about your guy."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for Jared S. Hopkins contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.