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Saunders pulled after taking liner off shin

Saunders pulled after taking liner off shin

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Saunders pulled after taking liner off shin
GOODYEAR, Ariz -- On the bright side, Joe Saunders felt like he was throwing the ball well Monday.

The bad news is the D-backs left-hander didn't get to stick around very long, as he was knocked out three batters into the game by a line drive off the side of his left shin.

Saunders, making his second start of the spring, retired the first two Indians batters he faced before Carlos Santana laced a liner right back at him. The veteran took a few practice pitches afterward, but pitching coach Charles Nagy and manager Kirk Gibson decided not to take any chances.

"I probably could have stayed in the game, but it was pretty sore pushing off," Saunders said. "But that's when they said enough's enough. They played the side of being cautious and I can't really fault them for that."

Saunders did not think the injury would be serious enough to cause him to miss his next start, but he will be re-evaluated by the team's medical staff Tuesday.

"If I got hit on the shin bone, I'd be toast -- so fortunate that didn't happen," Saunders said. "My arm felt good. I felt like I was going to throw pretty well today so that's a disappointment. It was coming out good, though, so that's a positive."

Saunders will have precautionary X-rays taken on Tuesday.

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