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Hermida injured in collision

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / June 5, 2010

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BALTIMORE — The play looked far too familiar, with the left fielder barreling toward the third baseman in foul territory and the ball falling quickly.

It looked dangerous as Jeremy Hermida and Adrian Beltre neared, dangerous as they collided, reminiscent of the play in Kansas City that put Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list for most of the season.

Though the collision in the third inning last night wasn’t nearly as damaging, wasn’t nearly as violent, Hermida left the game with, after X-rays were taken, what was determined to be a left forearm contusion. That’s nothing like the four fractured ribs Ellsbury sustained — though it was announced at the time that those X-rays were negative as well.

“I think we’re just going to let the ball fall next time,’’ Ellsbury said.

“In that situation,’’ Beltre said, “I always want to get the ball until the outfielder calls me off. There have been some situations that they haven’t called me off until they’re under the ball. So unfortunately we have collapsed a couple times there.’’

Asked if he saw Beltre coming, Hermida said, “Kind of. You know he’s going to be there. But at that moment, we’re both going full speed. There’s not much you can do. Try to get out of the way, slide to get out of his way.

“If I had to pick somebody in here [to hit], it wouldn’t be him. He’s a big boy. It’s just one of those freak things that unfortunately has happened a couple times.’’

Said manager Terry Francona, “It was eerily like the Ellsbury play.’’

Francona compared Hermida’s forearm injury to a batter getting “smoked with a fastball.’’ Hermida, who also took a hit to his ribs, will be checked out today. Beltre bruised his left knee in the collision, though he didn’t seem overly concerned about how he would bounce back.

“It was tough to grip the bat and swing it,’’ said Hermida, explaining why he came out of the game in the bottom of the fifth. “It just feels like a bruise there. The forearm was the thing, trying to grip a bat and swing, I tried to give it a whirl up there, but after swinging once I kind of realized it wasn’t going to happen.’’

Perhaps the most impressive part of the sequence was that Beltre actually made the catch to end the inning.

“Very surprised, actually,’’ Hermida said. “I was sliding, had my head down, trying not to take one in the face. But I was surprised he caught it. It was a great play on his part.’’

His best shot
Marco Scutaro realized his left elbow was an issue when he tried to bench press a bar with 45 pounds on each end in a gym last month in Detroit. He had so little strength on his left that he thought he had put extra weight on that side of the bar. He hadn’t. He couldn’t do a push-up, either. So the Red Sox medical staff administered a cortisone shot to the elbow May 20 and Scutaro sat out a few games.

But that’s not the only health issue Scutaro has had to contend with this season. The shortstop revealed yesterday that he has been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck, stemming from an existing hernia between the fifth and sixth vertebrae. While the elbow problem has mostly subsided, the stiffness and weakness from the neck injury are still there.

“After I had the shot, it was good, and then I noticed I had like a knob here,’’ Scutaro said, pointing to the left side of his chest. “I had it for a while, but didn’t pay attention to it because this thing [the elbow] was the one that was killing me.’’

Despite it all, Scutaro went 3 for 6 last night with a leadoff homer in the eighth inning in the Sox’ 11-0 victory.

Scutaro said he had an MRI last weekend. There is little pain in the neck, just little strength. Scutaro said for years he’s been dealing with back aches when he wakes up, along with stiffness after flights and after watching television in certain positions.

He said he is getting better, with treatments that include massage and stretching. If the pinched nerve doesn’t improve over the next month or so, he said it was likely he will get another cortisone shot. It does not seem to be an injury that will land him on the disabled list.

Feeling his pain
Francona placed a call yesterday to Dave Trembley, who was fired as manager of the Orioles earlier in the day. It wasn’t a long chat, as Trembley was getting on a flight, but long enough for Francona to “tell him I was thinking of him.’’

It’s a situation to which Francona can relate, given the circumstances surrounding his dismissal as manager of the Phillies in 2000.

“The Philadelphia situation was really pretty similar to here with Dave,’’ Francona said. “That last year everything that you hoped didn’t go wrong, did. That’s sort of what happened here, the back end of the bullpen got hurt, guys have been hurt, key guys, ended up putting a lot of pressure on the young kids, a lot of similarities. It’s not just here. It happens sometimes. That’s the way this game is.’’

Juan Samuel was named the Orioles’ interim manager.

Cameron improving
Francona said before the game that Mike Cameron has shown “significant improvement’’ as he battles an abdominal injury, though he wasn’t sure if the veteran was ready to pinch hit. Cameron was scheduled to take batting practice, but wasn’t able to as the Sox had their BP shortened by rain. Asked if Cameron might be back by the end of this series, Francona said, “I hope so. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I’m hoping maybe Sunday’s realistic. I don’t know. I think that’s what he’s shooting for.’’

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