ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura is expected to miss four to five games with a left eye injury.
Iwamura chased after a ball Saturday night in the bullpen down the third-base line in the eighth inning that bounced and hit him in the eye. He was checked by a team trainer and stayed in the game for the rest of the inning, but then left the game after the inning.
Iwamura, through an interpreter, said it feels like he ``got punched by a heavyweight.''
``It's better than when it happened,'' Iwamura said before Sunday's game against Kansas City.
Iwamura has a small cut above the eye, but no fractures. He was examined by an eye doctor late Saturday, who recommended Iwamura sit out for a few days.
``It's kind of a bruise on his eye,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ``I don't think it's going to exceed five days. I don't know if it could be less, but it shouldn't be much more than that. He got hit in a bad spot.''
Iwamura is hitting .370 with one homer and six RBIs. The former Japanese Central League star was 8-for-17 in five games since returning from a right oblique strain that sidelined him for a month.
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