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Royals welcome back Infante against Twins

Second baseman returns to starting lineup after scary incident vs. Rays
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Omar Infante got through batting practice all right and was in the Royals' starting lineup against the Twins on Friday night. In fact, he singled to right field in his first at-bat.

Infante returned after missing just two games after being struck in the face by a pitch on Monday night by Tampa Bay's Heath Bell. He sustained a cut on the lower left side of his face requiring six stitches and a sprained right side of his jaw.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Omar Infante got through batting practice all right and was in the Royals' starting lineup against the Twins on Friday night. In fact, he singled to right field in his first at-bat.

Infante returned after missing just two games after being struck in the face by a pitch on Monday night by Tampa Bay's Heath Bell. He sustained a cut on the lower left side of his face requiring six stitches and a sprained right side of his jaw.

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Infante escaped a concussion, but the wound initially caused a great deal of blood, heightening concern about the seriousness of the injury.

"When I saw all the blood on my hand -- wow! I'm thinking it broke something in my face," Infante said on Friday afternoon.

"It happened, but that's baseball. I have to continue."

Infante thought the high, inside pitch was going to break before it struck his left jaw.

"People told me they thought it would do more [damage]. I was lucky," he said. "It was scary."

Infante figured that he'd be a bit hesitant when he stepped back into the batter's box for the first time since the injury.

"Yeah, that's normal," he said. "I can't do anything about that. You try to see the ball and not think too much about that."

After batting practice, though, he remained in the lineup batting second in the series opener.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals, Omar Infante