May, who had given up a two-run double to Nelson Cruz in the first inning but rebounded by striking out the side in the second and getting through a scoreless third with another strikeout, was pitching to Kyle Seager, who led off the fourth inning for the Mariners. Seager ripped a line drive that hit May on the back of the right elbow, near the forearm. May was able to pick up the ball and underhand it to first baseman Kennys Vargas for the out, but team trainers paid him a visit and a quick decision was made to pull him.
"It's a little scary at first," May said. "You never know. I haven't been hit on the elbow and didn't really have any experience with that, but I knew, just by the testing and everything, that it was going to be OK."
He was right. X-rays were negative, and May said he doesn't think he'll even miss a start. So there was relief mixed with the initial fear and then the letdown of having to exit so quickly. And the Twins ended up winning, 8-5, so he was happy about that, too.
"I was a little bit disappointed," May said. "I felt like I was getting a little stronger as it was going and I was starting to get ahead of guys, and that's how you get things to go your way a little bit more. I was being a little more economical with pitches and I'm trying to go deeper into games, and you never want to come out before the fifth and tax your bullpen like I did. Unfortunately, that was the case."
Twins manager Paul Molitor wasn't looking at the situation as a negative, though.
"He overcame Cruz's double in the first and settled down," Molitor said. "You're always scared when your pitchers get hit like that, especially when their throwing arm is involved. … Hopefully he can get back in there soon.
"He started throwing better. He was just missing, too. ... He was settling in. The changeup was coming back and he was starting to use his pitches a little better before he got hit."
May said the arm was discolored at first but responded immediately to being iced. Hours after the incident, he said there was no stiffness.
"I can feel it, obviously, but there's no pain," May said. "It's just a little tender on the spot. ... All things considered, I think I'm pretty lucky."