Breaking news: Blake Hawksworth leaves game after being hit in face by comebacker

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UPDATE: According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Hawksworth suffered severe lacerations to his mouth and upper lip. Carrie Muskat of reports that he was taken to the hospital for X-rays.

2:57 PM: According to Carrie Muskat of, Blake Hawksworth was forced to leave this afternoon’s game against the Cubs after being hit in the face by a comebacker off the bat of Sam Fuld in the fifth inning.

Hawksworth was struck in the mouth by the ball and immediately fell to the mound. There was quite a bit of blood, but the good news is that Hawksworth didn’t lose consciousness and was able to walk off the field under his own power.

It looks like he managed to avoid any serious injury, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he is shut down for the rest of the season. We’ll pass along an update when we get it.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.