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Qualls seriously hurt on final play

Qualls seriously hurt on final play

PHOENIX -- The D-backs' 4-3 victory over Houston on Sunday reached a bittersweet conclusion as Arizona closer Chad Qualls suffered a serious injury on the game's final pitch.

Qualls dislocated his left kneecap while reacting to a comebacker hit by the Astros' Jason Michaels with two outs in the ninth and the tying run on base. Qualls deflected the soft liner with his glove to shortstop Stephen Drew -- who threw out Michaels at first for the game-ending out -- but in so doing twisted his body awkwardly.

He collapsed atop the mound and was signaling to the dugout for help even before the ricocheted ball reached Drew.

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With all of his teammates, as well as former teammate Lance Berkman of the Astros, surrounding him on the mound, Qualls was treated by the team's training staff for several minutes before being helped off the field.

He will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the residual damage to the knee.

"You could see the dislocation," said Arizona manager A.J. Hinch. "The trainer popped the kneecap back in place, but now we'll just have to wait and see how much damage there was.

"It didn't look good. Instead of shaking hands after a win, you're out there with your closer in pain on the ground."

Qualls had secured the final four outs, for his 23rd save and good friend Dan Haren's 13th win.

"I'm not feeling too good right now," Haren said in the locker room. "Seeing one of my best friends go down like that, saving the game for me. ... It hurt, and I feel bad for him and for his family. But he's a tough guy."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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