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Francisco Liriano leaves game after being hit in the head with a comebacker


Blue Jays pitcher Francisco Liriano was pitching to former teammate and good friend Carlos Gomez of the Rangers in the eighth inning of this afternoon’s ALDS Game 2. Gomez hit a line drive right up the middle and it smacked into the back of Liriano’s head, ricocheting into right field.

Liriano didn’t even go to the ground — he initially appeared to just brush it off like it was a tennis ball or something — but he was taken out of the game nonetheless because you simply do not mess around with 98 m.p.h. line drives to someone’s head. Closer Roberto Osuna was called into the game to get out of the jam. At the time it was 5-2 with Rangers runners on the corners and one out.

Osuna allowed one run to score after inducing a groundout but then bore down and struck out Carlos Beltran to end the Rangers ‘rally. It’s 5-2 as we head to the ninth.

A’s players, staff support coach after gesture, no penalty

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Major League Baseball has been in touch with the Oakland Athletics about their bench coach making a gesture that appeared to be a Nazi salute following a win over the Texas Rangers.

No discipline has been announced against coach Ryan Christenson, who has apologized for the gesture.

“Ryan Christenson is fully supported by everybody in our clubhouse and they know who he is. So do I. Obviously it didn’t look great but that was not his intent at all. I know that for a fact,” manager Bob Melvin said Friday before a game against Houston.

“He’s just not that guy. I’d say he’s progressive, very progressive as a person. Everybody feels bad for him right now `cause they know who he is,” Melvin added.

A short team meeting was all that the A’s needed because Christenson had full support, Melvin said.

Christenson apologized late Thursday for raising his arm during the postgame celebration. He made the gesture while greeting closer Liam Hendriks following a 6-4 win over the Rangers.

Hendriks immediately pushed Christenson’s arm down. Cameras showed Christenson laughing and briefly raising his arm a second time.

Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media.

“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement issued through the team. “Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of COVID, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”

The A’s called the gesture “offensive” and apologized for it.

“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field.”

The 46-year-old Christenson played six years in the majors from 1998-2003. He later spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming bench coach for the A’s in 2018.