Iwamura wheeled off field after collision

MIAMI – The Rays lost their second baseman early on Sunday,
and it did not look good.

With one out in a tied game in the bottom of the eighth, the
Marlins had runners on first and second when Wes Helms hit a tapper back to
reliever Dan Wheeler. The right-hander picked it up and fired it to second
base, where Akinori Iwamura made the force out. But upon turning to fire the
ball to first, he was barreled into hard by rookie Chris Coghlan.

Iwamura laid on the ground in agony, and John Baker tried to
score from second, but shortstop Jason Bartlett wrestled the ball out of
Iwamura’s hand and gunned him down at the plate to preserve the 4-4 tie and end
the inning.

After that, the Rays players and medical staff – and eventually
the Marlins players who were coming back onto the field – huddled around
Iwamura, who stayed on the ground in pain for several minutes holding his left

Eventually, Iwamura was carried onto a cart and driven off
the field while getting an applause from the 12,839 fans at Land Shark Stadium.

Iwamura was diagnosed with a left knee injury. He will be driven back to St. Petersburg, Fa., on Sunday night, where he will get an MRI.

* Rays starter James Shields — who gave up four runs on a season-high 12 hits through 6 2/3 innings — got hit in the leg by a hard comebacker from Ross Gload with two outs in the seventh. After trying to get Gload at first but to no avail, he was taken out of the game by manager Joe Maddon. But Shields had 102 pitches at that point and didn’t appear to be in pain, so the move likely was just to get reliever Grant Balfour in the game.

— Alden Gonzalez


I hope that Iwamura will be okay.


I watched that collision when it happened, I listened later to comments about how the Marlin’s rookie was “just playing hard”, I don’t buy it, Coghlan barrel-rolled into Aki’s legs, there was no slide or even an attempt to slide. Last I saw, these guys were still playing Major League Baseball, if I were Chris Coghlan, I would duck as soon as Shields started his windup.

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