Friday, March 02, 2007

Twins OF Torii Hunter Will Take Weekend Off After Being Beaned by Friend, Ex-Teammate Kyle Lohse

Twins outfielder Torii Hunter was expected to be held out of action over the weekend after being struck in the head by a fastball thrown by former teammate Kyle Lohse in exhibition action with the Cincinnati Reds at Fort Myers, Fla.

Hunter, 31, was reported as uninjured, having sustained a glancing blow off the back of his skull at the base of his helmet.

Hunter went down hard on a one-ball, two-strike count, turned on his side and lay prone for several minutes before being escorted off the field by manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Rick McWane.

Though Hunter appeared dazed, an examination indicated he was lucid and alert, with no indications of concussion or other serious injury. But it was expected Hunter would rest over the weekend, going home to his Fort Myers residence in his personal vehicle. His activities were not expected to be otherwise limited.

"He left on his own....He was driving," team spokesman Dustin Morse told .

Lohse, 28, also immediately came out of the game, struggling with control problems after giving up a hit and a run and three walks in two thirds of the opening inning before beaning Hunter.

Ironically, Hunter and Lohse, both of whom reside in Florida during the winter, have remained friends since Lohse was demoted from the Twins to the AAA Rochester (N.Y.) Red Wings last year before finally being acquired by the Reds.

Hunter and Lohse had played together for all or parts of six seasons during Lohse's association with the Twins, which came to an unexpected and rancorous conclusion after repeated performance questions at the beginning of last season.