CINCINNATI - The barrel of a broken bat hit plate umpire Jerry Layne on the left side of the head Friday night, forcing him to leave a game between the Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning.
Layne, a 23-year veteran, was checked by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek at Great American Ball Park and taken to a hospital for tests to make sure he didn't break any bones on the side of his face.
"There was no cuts or anything like that," said Randy Marsh, Major League Baseball's director of umpiring. "Dr. Kremchek checked him out. Not sure if there's a concussion — doesn't think he was concussed — but he has a very sore area on his face."
Marsh, who was at the game, talked to Layne after he left the field. Layne got X-rays and an MRI test that came back normal.
"He said when he went down, he didn't know what hit him, whether it was the bat or a ball," Marsh said.
Devin Mesoraco's bat cracked as he hit a grounder off Minnesota's Nick Blackburn. The barrel came off on Mesoraco's follow-through and hit Layne on the side of the head, which isn't protected by the mask.
"I heard the sound when it hit (by) his mask," Twins catcher Ryan Doumit said. "It was awfully loud. That's scary."
Layne stumbled for a couple steps, then fell on his back and remained on the ground on his chest for several minutes while trainers talked to him. Layne got to his feet with help and walked off the field.
"Dr. Kremchek thinks he's going to be fine, but they want to get him checked out," Marsh said.
Second base umpire Bob Davidson put on the protective equipment and moved behind the plate after a 10-minute delay. Marsh called for a reserve umpire to take Layne's place in the last two games of the series.