Pirates notebook: Tabata hurt on catch in fifth inning


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CINCINNATI -- Jose Tabata left a game Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds because of concussion-like symptoms after colliding with the outfield wall while making a catch.

Reds catcher Brayan Pena hit a line drive to deep left in the fifth inning. Tabata ran back toward the wall and caught the ball on the warning track. His momentum carried him into the wall, and he hit it with his left shoulder.

Tabata held the ball up to show he made the catch but was in pain. Manager Clint Hurdle and head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk went out to check on Tabata, with Tomczyk examining his head, neck and jaw. They slowly helped him off the field.

"Todd was just asking questions about how he felt, was he dizzy, [in] pain," Hurdle said. "He was responsive."

Hurdle did not say who would replace Tabata if he needed to go on the disabled list.

Major League Baseball added a seven-day DL for players with concussions in 2011 and also instituted mandatory baseline testing for all players and revamped procedures for evaluating players with possible head injuries.

Home-plate collision

The game featured a play at the plate that found the uncertain intersection between what is legal and what is not under the new rules governing home-plate collisions.

Roger Bernadina was on third, Pena on second, in the eighth. Zack Cozart grounded to Jordy Mercer at short, and Mercer threw home to Tony Sanchez, who stood in front of home plate. Sanchez received the ball before a sliding Bernadina reached the plate and home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled Bernadina was out.

Reds manager Bryan Price protested, and the umpires initiated a review, but the call stood.

The updated rule reads: "Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score." Sanchez had the ball by the time Bernadina got there, but blocked the plate before Bernadina's slide.

"I knew the ball was going to beat him, so it didn't cross my mind where I needed to be," Sanchez said. "Yes, it was bang-bang, but I had the ball before he got there."

The new rules prevent Bernadina from barreling into Sanchez and attempting to dislodge the ball. Price disagreed with the call and the review.

"The baserunner was never afforded an area in which to slide," Price said. "They took away his lane from the inception of the ball being put in play. For me, that blurs the lines on what the baserunner should be doing."

Sanchez said he initially thought the play would be overturned because he was blocking the plate.

"No one knows exactly what's going on," he said. "Everyone's confused. It's creating more nonsense than it should."

Said Bernadina: "I feel like he stole a run from me -- I had nowhere to go."

Marte struggling

Starling Marte was not in the starting lineup, so he could get a mental rest after his inconsistent start to the season that mixed success with a high strikeout total.

Marte entered day with a .259 average, a .348 on-base percentage, 3 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home run. He also had 23 strikeouts, second-most in the majors behind former Pirates and current Miami Marlins first baseman Garrett Jones.

Marte struck out six times in 10 plate appearances in the first two games of the series against the Reds, although he also doubled and homered.

"The swing's disconnected," Hurdle said. "The swing doesn't look right to me. We're going to back him away from the flame."

Marte later entered the game to replace Tabata.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG.

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