Colabello fine after pitch hits his helmet

Blue Jays first baseman able to remain in game against Red Sox

Colabello fine after pitch hits his helmet

BOSTON -- Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello was able to remain in the game after he was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright to lead off the fourth inning during Toronto's 5-3 win on Sunday at Fenway Park.

Rather than his signature knuckleball, Wright delivered an 86-mph fastball on the pitch that struck Colabello, who instantly went down at the plate as manager John Gibbons and assistant athletic trainer Mike Frostad rushed from the dugout.

"It sounded like it got him pretty good, but they tested him out. He's feeling pretty good," said Gibbons. "Another hard-headed guy."

After a few minutes of being examined, Colabello took his place on first base.

"I think I gave all the answers to all the questions before they asked them," he said. "As soon as they got out there I said, 'I'm good.' And they're like, 'You should stay down.' And I'm like, 'No, I know I'm just taking my shin guard off.' I said, 'I'm at Fenway Park. We're in Boston. It's Sunday. It's the day before Marathon Monday. It's my hometown.'

"I was really aware of what was going on. I don't think there was ever a time -- they were obviously concerned because there's kind of a protocol -- but there was never a sign to me that anything was wrong. I told them, 'I'll be honest with you, I wouldn't mess with something like this.'"

Wright, too, was shaken up by the play. He assured there was no intent behind the pitch.

"I would never do that to anyone, especially when you get up around the head," he said. "It can get real scary. I've known Colabello for a while. I just apologized. It shook me up a little bit. I'm glad [Red Sox pitching coach] Carl [Willis] came out afterwards to settle me down. It definitely affected me. It was scary. He understood that I didn't mean to, but I just needed to get it off of my chest."

Colabello didn't see any ill intent from Wright.

"No, I've faced him quite a bit between Double-A, Triple-A, big leagues, so I have a pretty good idea of his repertoire," Colabello said. "I know he likes to use the fastball when he gets two strikes. You obviously have to hang in a little more. He'd just thrown one the pitch before that. Saw him kind of hesitate, so I thought there was a chance he might throw another one because he likes to work pretty quick. So I was just trying to make sure I stayed on something."

Colabello went 1-for-3 and picked up his first RBI of the season, driving in Edwin Encarnacion with a single in the first.

"I was going to throw a party for myself, but I decided not to," Colabello quipped of his first RBI. "No, it was anything to help the team, get ahead early in the game; it was important. Hopefully it's the first of many."

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.