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Cozart's leg OK after HBP scare, early exit

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Zack Cozart breathed a sigh of relief on Friday night when he found out that his left shin would be OK after he was hit with a fastball by Braves reliever Rex Brothers.

"I think I didn't do anything major," Cozart said. "It is one of those things where I will come back [Saturday] and see how it feels."

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ATLANTA -- Zack Cozart breathed a sigh of relief on Friday night when he found out that his left shin would be OK after he was hit with a fastball by Braves reliever Rex Brothers.

"I think I didn't do anything major," Cozart said. "It is one of those things where I will come back [Saturday] and see how it feels."

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It was good news after he left in the seventh inning of the Reds' 5-3 victory at SunTrust Park. The fastball appeared to hit Cozart flush in the leg. He stayed down in pain for a few moments before walking with the Reds' training staff down to first base. Cozart initially stayed in the game but was replaced by Jose Peraza at shortstop to start the seventh inning.

Cozart said he is dealing with some swelling and tightness, and after talking with Reds manager Bryan Price, decided to be cautious with the injury. It was one of the reasons Peraza came into the game.

"When you get a ball that hits you right on the shin bone it is only going to stiffen up and get worse," Price said. "He really wanted to stay in but by the time that happened, he knew he couldn't cover the same range at shortstop and we got Peraza in."

Cozart didn't need X-rays, and said his plan is to work with the Reds' training staff and take it one step at a time.

"I have iced a couple times already tonight and I will show up [Saturday] pretty early and see how it feels," Cozart said. "I will be able to judge it pretty good with how I am feeling by waking up and walking around. I don't anticipate feeling great [Saturday], but we will see."

Cozart returned from a right quad injury on Aug. 6, his second stint on the DL with the injury. He has been solid at shortstop and his power has balanced the Reds' lineup. This season, he has a career-high 17 home runs in 88 games.

Price said a decision on whether Cozart can play will come Saturday. He also wants to see how the shin responds to a night of rest.

"He will have a chance to get some pressure on it and see if we can get the swelling down," Price said. "He will have to come out and take his ground balls tomorrow with BP and we will see how it goes."

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Cincinnati Reds, Zack Cozart