ST. LOUIS (AP) -Juan Encarnacion of the St. Louis Cardinals was taken to a hospital Friday night after being struck on the left eye by a foul ball while waiting in the on-deck circle, leaving teammates shaken.
Encarnacion, who was about to pinch hit in the sixth inning, had no time to react when Aaron Miles was late on an 0-1 pitch from Cincinnati Reds left-hander Jon Coutlangus. He was down for several minutes, blood dripping from his nose, before two trainers helped him off the field.
Manager Tony La Russa said the team was awaiting a medical report. The clubhouse was quiet even after a come-from-behind 8-5 victory keyed by Rick Ankiel's first career grand slam.
``The ball hit him square in the eye,'' La Russa said. ``I've seen guys smoked in the dome but not dead center. We've got our fingers crossed and nobody's celebrating, that's for sure.''
Teammate Jim Edmonds was shaken after the incident. He helped assist Encarnacion to the clubhouse and noticed no improvement during that time.
``It's about as bad as it gets as far as what you can see on a baseball field,'' Edmonds said. ``I think it's everybody's biggest fear.
``That's why there's so many arguments and fights, over balls being thrown up and in. It's scary.''
The ball struck Encarnacion with enough force that it rolled several feet in the opposite direction. After fouling off the pitch, Miles looked over and saw that Encarnacion was down.
Encarnacion, who missed the first 1 1/2 months recovering from wrist surgery, is batting .283 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs.
``That's a scary thing,'' Miles said. ``It's not a good feeling, and you've got to know that it comes with the territory of being in the vicinity - fans included too. It's dangerous, and I just hope he's all right.''
Ankiel narrowly missed getting struck by a foul ball during his at-bat in the eighth when David Eckstein swung late on a pitch.
``David hit one pretty close,'' Ankiel said. ``I don't ever remember being struck by a foul ball, knock on wood.''
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