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Three Phillies hit, feeling all right after win

Three Phillies hit, feeling all right after win

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PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, outfielder Ben Francisco and second baseman Chase Utley were hit by pitches during a 7-4 victory over the Reds in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Friday night, but there were no hard feelings in the aftermath.

"You are not going to try to hit anybody right now because it's the playoffs," said Francisco, who had his helmet knocked off by a Logan Ondrusek pitch in the sixth inning.

"I was scared, dazed, whatever, but I'm all right," Francisco said. "The ball gets up there and you get kind of nervous. It happened fast and you want to make sure you are OK and go to first base. I didn't really feel it. I could hear the noise. It was ringing in my ear a little bit."

But it was the perhaps phantom hit by pitch that had everyone talking after the game. Utley led off the inning and was hit by a pitch thrown by Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman. The replay indicated that Utley may not have been hit. Utley would later score the tying run when a fly ball off the bat of Jimmy Rollins went by right fielder Jay Bruce for an error, just one of many Reds miscues in the inning that led to three unearned runs and a Phillies victory.

"It was pretty close," Utley said about getting hit by the pitch. "At first, I thought it was going to hit me in my head. Fortunately, it didn't. And he throws so hard. I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first."


Reds manager Dusty Baker saw the play differently.

"My catcher didn't say anything, and as it turned out, I heard that it didn't hit him," Baker said. "You know, just that was a very unfortunate inning for us when things didn't go right in that inning. Actually, it went terrible. It ended up being big plays in the game. And we played -- in my mind -- we lost the game, but we ended up giving them most of their runs."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was asked how badly Utley was hit.

"Bad enough to take his base," he said. "So did Francisco, so did Chooch. Chooch might have gotten hit the worst."

There's no doubt about that. Ruiz was the first batter hit, with two outs, a runner on second and Cincinnati leading, 4-2. Reds left-hander Arthur Rhodes hit Ruiz on his left kneecap with a pitch, and Ruiz was down for about a minute as the Phillies' trainer and manager Charlie Manuel came to his aid.

Ruiz then sprinted to first and remained in the game. The injury is not considered serious. In fact, Ruiz is expected to play Sunday in Game 3 at Great American Ball Park.

"He's fine. He's OK. He's good," Manuel joked. "It's three feet from his heart. He's OK. No, he's OK, really. He's all right."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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