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Cashner sustains contusion from broken bat

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- It has been a rough month for Rangers starter Andrew Cashner.

After he was activated from the 10-day disabled list (left oblique strain) on Thursday morning to start the series finale against the Indians -- his first start since June 14 -- Cashner fell victim to a scary moment in the sixth inning of the Rangers' eventual 5-1 loss.

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CLEVELAND -- It has been a rough month for Rangers starter Andrew Cashner.

After he was activated from the 10-day disabled list (left oblique strain) on Thursday morning to start the series finale against the Indians -- his first start since June 14 -- Cashner fell victim to a scary moment in the sixth inning of the Rangers' eventual 5-1 loss.

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The right-hander delivered a 94-mph fastball to Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion, which shattered the designated hitter's bat into two pieces. The the broken barrel of the bat hit Cashner on a line as the ball went into right field for an RBI base hit. The sharp end of the bat hit Cashner in the right forearm, causing him to fall to the ground.

"The end got me in the stomach, and [the] barrel hit me in the forearm," Cashner said. "Luckily I was able to turn in time. I never saw the bat."

Fortunately, X-rays came back negative and he was only diagnosed with a contusion.

"Boy, I tell you what," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's really scary because how many times have we seen that bat land in the grass like a lawn dart? I'm sure it didn't feel good. I think we were all glad that it wasn't the end that it had. That gets scary."

Trainers and Rangers manager Jeff Banister came out to check on Cashner immediately following the play.

"Yeah, I got to believe he got lucky," Banister said of the play. "A broken bat like that coming at you, the meat end of the barrel with a jagged edge, there is no way really to protect yourself against that. We feel fortunate that it looked like it got the meat end of the forearm and a little bit of the elbow."

Although he remained in the game, Cashner was pulled one batter later after he gave up a double to Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez. Reliever Nick Martinez came into the 3-1 game, but allowed a two-run double to pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall to officially close the book on Cashner.

Cashner pitched well in the first five frames, but the strong part of his performance was overshadowed with everything that played out in the sixth inning. His day ended on a rough note, as he was charged with five earned runs on six hits in five-plus innings.

Other than the three-run fifth, Cashner had held the Indians scoreless in three of his first four innings. Cleveland scored two runs in the third inning on an RBI groundout and a wild pitch.

"I thought he threw the ball extremely well," Banister said. "That situation there in the third, a couple of wild pitches he allowed some runners to advance and score. He was able to regather himself. I thought he threw some extremely good fastballs down in the zone. The slider, swing and miss today. Velo was good. I thought he was in control of his delivery for the most part."

Before the start of the sixth, Cashner had faced five batters over the minimum. He recorded two 1-2-3 innings and seven groundouts, along with three strikeouts.

Cashner was frustrated with how his outing ended, but he said he can learn from the start going forward.

"I thought I commanded the ball a little better, and my curveball; I've been working on it," Cashner said. "If anything, I thought my curveball was pretty good. I've just got to make some better pitches in some better spots."

William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland and covered the Rangers on Thursday.

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