Aroldis Chapman carried off field in stretcher after line drive to head

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was carried off the field in a stretcher Wednesday night after taking a line drive to the head during a spring training game.

Keeping him overnight for observation, doctors at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center said Chapman broke bones above his left eye and nose.

It was the bottom of the sixth inning at Surprise Stadium and the Kansas City Royals were ahead 6-3 when catcher Salvador Perez took the plate.

Perez hit Chapman's 99-mph fastball in a line drive and it struck the pitcher in the head.

Reds manager Bryan Price said Chapman never lost consciousness and was able to move his legs, hands and feet.

The game was called, and Perez was being consoled by his teammates.

Chapman, a Cuban defector, made his debut with the Reds in 2010 and has since built a reputation as one of the best closers in baseball.

The lefthander has the fastest pitch ever recorded in Major League Baseball, which earned him the nicknames "Cuban missile" and "Cuban flame-thrower."

He clocked a pitch at 105.1 mph on Sept. 24, 2010 in a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

During the offseason, Chapman's family was finally able to come to the United States and he met his 4-year-old daughter for the first time.