Freel leaves game vs. Sox with injury

Freel leaves game vs. Sox with injury

BOSTON -- The Orioles saw their short bench get even shorter on Monday when Ryan Freel got involved in an unfortunate play on the basepaths. Freel, who was on second base, got hit in the helmet by an errant pickoff throw from Justin Masterson and lay face-down on the field for several minutes.

Freel didn't move much during the delay and was tended to by head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel. Freel, who started the game at third base for the first time all year, took a few minutes to gather himself and wound up getting helped off the field.

The veteran was responsive in the dugout, but the Orioles still sent him to a nearby hospital for further testing. The team said he would spend the night there for observation.

"I haven't gotten the final report yet," manager Dave Trembley said shortly after the game. "He's got a knot on the back of his head. I know they took him to get a CT scan and everything, and I haven't gotten the final results."

Baltimore replaced Freel with Robert Andino, who had played only one inning at third base in the big leagues. The Orioles were already playing a man short due to an injury for Adam Jones, and after Freel left the game, the road team was left with one healthy player -- Chad Moeller -- on the bench.

Trembley addressed his short bench before the game and said he wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice the designated hitter if the situation called for it. And he could have done that early on Monday by playing designated hitter Aubrey Huff at first base and shifting Ty Wigginton over to third.

"I think you do what you have to do," Trembley had said. "When you have a short bench for whatever reason, whether it be a roster reason or somebody left the game early because they fouled a ball off their foot and they can't play or an injury, you do what you have to do in order to win the game."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.