St. Louis Cardinals

Cards’ Voit breathing easier now that pitcher he hit in head is OK

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann pats St. Louis Cardinals’ Luke Voit (40) on the shoulder as Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt (44) crouches after Voit hit Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray on the head with a line drive back to the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 28, 2017, in St. Louis. Ray left the game.
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann pats St. Louis Cardinals’ Luke Voit (40) on the shoulder as Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt (44) crouches after Voit hit Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray on the head with a line drive back to the mound during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 28, 2017, in St. Louis. Ray left the game. AP

St. Louis Cardinals rookie Luke Voit slept restfully Friday night after learning that Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray was OK.

Voit rifled a 108-mph shot off the left side of Ray’s head Friday in the second inning of St. Louis’ 1-0 victory. The ball went into the air and was caught by third baseman Daniel Descalso, a former Cardinal.

Bleeding and lying on the mound, Ray was treated by trainers from both teams. He underwent concussion protocol and received stitches, surviving what could have been a tragic situation.

“I heard he was good; I heard he went back to his hotel (Friday) night. Actually, I heard he came back to the field, too,” Voit said Saturday. “Everything’s fine. He had a concussion and a bunch of stitches in his head, but I think he’s good.”

Voit said carrying on with the game was difficult “for a little bit.”

“Think about it,” Voit said. “He could have died. It’s crazy, especially what happened with ‘Ponce.’ It made me reach out to him. It’s just stuff you don’t want to happen.”

Voit was referring to former Class AAA Memphis teammate Daniel Poncedeleon, a right-hander who took a liner off his head in a May 9 game against Iowa.

“He’s good,” Voit said. “He was at his house, and he’s got a baby now. I think he’s going to come back. I think it’s on him if he wants to play. But I think he’s got the clearance to play.”

Voit said he was reminded that baseball is “a scary game.”

“You never know,” he said. “It’s like anything in life. It makes you think about your life, too. Even like driving home, you could get in a car accident or something. It just makes you think about the small stuff in life and staying close to your family. It makes you think about people you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just scary stuff. I’ll always remember this.”

Voit, 26, lauded his teammates for their support and expressed appreciation for the reassurance Diamondbacks players who knew what Voit was experiencing.

“That’s even what Robbie said when I talked to him (near the mound),” Voit said. “He was like, ‘Hey, it’s not your fault. It’s part of it.’ I was just glad to hear him talk. I said I was sorry and to get healthy soon. He was like, ‘Hey, man, keep playing hard.’

“He’s my opponent, but there’s still a brotherhood with baseball.”

Wainwright on schedule

Right-hander Adam Wainwright (mid-back discomfort) played catch Saturday and will throw a bullpen Monday at Busch Stadium. He could come off the disabled list to start Wednesday in Milwaukee.

If Wainwright isn’t activated, rookie right-hander Luke Weaver will take the start.

“We’re keeping Luke on point and ready to go just in case,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ll take each day and see how we can find out more information.”

Bader’s base hits

Rookie center fielder Harrison Bader is 6-for-15 (.400) in his first six major-league games. Four of the hits were infield singles; the other two were doubles.

Bader, with good speed, figures to pile up a lot of infield hits.

“Watching how he gets out of the box and how well he gets to first base, you’re going to see a rushed (defensive) play that will end up counting as a hit when the guy might have had a little bit more time,” Matheny said. “They’re going to be constantly aware of how fast he is, which is going to give him some more opportunities.” 

David Wilhelm: @DavidMWilhelm

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