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Coach Alguacil has surgery after ball hits face

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Giants first-base coach Jose Alguacil underwent surgery to repair a broken nose and a deep laceration early Saturday evening, hours after he was struck in the face by a foul tip during the eighth inning of San Francisco's 2-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

A team spokesman said that Alguacil also sustained small fractures in his eye socket.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Giants first-base coach Jose Alguacil underwent surgery to repair a broken nose and a deep laceration early Saturday evening, hours after he was struck in the face by a foul tip during the eighth inning of San Francisco's 2-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

A team spokesman said that Alguacil also sustained small fractures in his eye socket.

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Alguacil, 44, was seated in a folding chair against the backstop behind home plate and several feet to the first-base side when Hunter Dozier swung at a pitch from Giants right-hander Neil Ramirez and nicked it. The ball hit Alguacil, drawing blood. Alguacil fell face-first to the dirt, where he lay almost motionless. He was placed on a stretcher, driven off the field and taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, where surgery was performed.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Alguacil never lost consciousness.

"He said he felt fine," Bochy said. "He got up and got in the golf cart, so that's good news."

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"I felt awful," Dozier said. "It was a fastball inside, and it just kind of ran in on me, a two-seamer. It just hit my bat. I felt terrible. A freak accident. I had a hard time finishing the at-bat. I even asked [catcher Tim Federowicz], 'How do I finish the at-bat?' He just said, 'Hey, it's not your fault.'"

During Spring Training, numerous managers and coaches perch at the backstop for a closer view of the action, mainly because rules allow it.

"It's what we do here," said Bochy, who admitted that many of his counterparts who customarily sit by the backstop have absorbed foul tips.

It's a risky custom given the smaller dimensions of Spring Training ballparks.

"This park is probably the closest [in proximity from home plate to the stands] out of all of them," Bochy said. "It wasn't really smart of us, especially at this park, to be sitting out there."

Alguacil is beginning his first year on the Major League staff. Considered a rising star within the organization, he managed the Giants' Triple-A Sacramento affiliate last year and their Double-A Richmond outpost in 2015. Before that he served as a roving infield instructor, contributing to the development of such Gold Glove winners as shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik, among others.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

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