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Toronto’s Francisco Liriano hospitalized after line drive to the back of the head

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, left,  helps check on relief pitcher Francisco Liriano after Liriano was hit on the back of the head by a single off the bat of Texas’ Carlos Gomez in the eighth inning  Friday. (LM Otero / Associated Press)
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, left, helps check on relief pitcher Francisco Liriano after Liriano was hit on the back of the head by a single off the bat of Texas’ Carlos Gomez in the eighth inning Friday. (LM Otero / Associated Press)
AP

Toronto left-hander Francisco Liriano was hospitalized as a precaution after taking a line drive near the back of his head in the Blue Jays’ 5-3 win over Texas on Friday in Game 2 of the A.L. Division Series.

Liriano turned away from the hit by Carlos Gomez with one out in the eighth inning, and the ball ricocheted into right center off the back of his neck near his head. The hit was measured at 102 mph, and Gomez winced as he headed to first on the run-scoring single.

The 32-year-old stayed on his feet and walked around the infield briefly before his teammates, a trainer and manager John Gibbons came out to check on him. Liriano was replaced by closer Robert Osuna, who pitched for the first time since leaving the A.L. wild-card game three days earlier with shoulder discomfort.

Liriano was the winning pitcher in the wild-card game against Baltimore, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Edwin Encarnacion’s game-ending three-run homer in the 11th. He allowed two hits and two runs in one-third of an inning.

Samardzija to start Game 2 for Giants

San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija will make his second postseason appearance in the same place he began his major league career.

Samardzija will get the ball for the Giants in Game 2 of the N.L. Division Series against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night. He was drafted by the Cubs in 2006 and spent his first 6 1/2 seasons with the team before he was traded to Oakland in the 2014 deal that sent shortstop Addison Russell to the Cubs.

Kyle Hendricks will start Game 2 for the Cubs. Hendricks is coming off a breakout season, going 16-8 with a major league-best 2.13 ERA.

Roark will start for Nats in Game 2

Tanner Roark will start Game 2 for the Washington Nationals in their N.L. Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, filling a spot that very likely would have gone to Stephen Strasburg if he were healthy.

Strasburg, though, is out for the NLDS after hurting his pitching elbow late in the regular season. He had his first bullpen session off a mound since being sidelined exactly a month earlier, and the Nationals are hoping the right-hander could be available later in the postseason if they advance.

Clearing the bases

The Yankees are bringing back Larry Rothschild for his seventh season as pitching coach on a one-year contract … The Braves dismissed pitching coach Roger McDowell.

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