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Brad Bergesen suffers bruise but OK

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen got off lucky after being struck in the right forearm by a line drive Friday.

Minnesota Twins leadoff hitter Denard Span hit the drive on Bergesen's fourth pitch of the game. X-rays were negative and the injury was determined to be a bruise.

"The doctor said he hit me in probably the best spot," Bergesen said. "He said any higher would have been a deep muscle bruise, and that would have caused some damage. And a little bit lower would have been ligaments, and lower than that would have caught the bone flush by itself.

"He said to get in the right arm, that's the best spot."

Bergesen is competing with Chris Tillman and Zach Britton to become the third starter in the Baltimore rotation. He entered with a 5.94 ERA over five appearances, and was counting on a solid performance to enhance his bid to make the club.

"It was a no-hitter," Bergesen said with a grin. "No, it's very disappointing. My hope coming into today was to get up six times and pitch how I'm capable of pitching, so that part's frustrating, but it's something I can't control, so hopefully I'll get another chance in another X amount of days."

After the ball struck Bergesen, he walked off the mound and repeatedly shook his arm. He then left the field after a quick conversation with a trainer and manager Buck Showalter.

"I just caught a quick glimpse of it. I don't think I even had enough time to get out of the way," Bergesen said. "At first, you're kind of in that shock stage. But five minutes later when I was in here getting it checked out, it hurt but I was pretty confident it wasn't broken because of how I was able to move my fingers and everything."

Span was called out when the ball flew off Bergesen's arm and into the glove of second baseman Robert Andino.

"We're lucky," Showalter said. "The X-ray didn't reveal any breaks or anything, so we'll get some of the swelling and soreness out of there. That area there usually brings some challenges with feel and everything, so we'll see where we are in the next day or two when the swelling goes down."

In 2009, Bergesen was struck in the shin by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Billy Butler and missed the final two months of his rookie season. As he was heading to the hospital Friday, Bergesen thought back to that July night two years ago.

But the 25-year-old insisted his two close encounters with hard-hit baseballs would not linger on his mind.

"It's not going to hold me back. It's not going to be one of those things when I get back on the mound again I'm going to be scared or tentative," he said. "I'll put it away and go forward with it."

Last year, Bergesen reported with a sore shoulder and was sent to the minors after three starts. He returned in May and finished 8-12 with a 4.98 ERA, although he had a 2.85 ERA in his final 12 games.

Bergesen is certain his latest injury won't keep him for having a successful season.

"I'm pretty optimistic about it," he said. "I don't think it's going to be something that will hold me out for too long."