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Jays replace Francisco Liriano on roster; to be out at least 1 week

The Blue Jays have replaced pitcher Francisco Liriano on their postseason roster for at least one week -- a day after the lefty suffered a concussion in Toronto's 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

Major League Baseball approved the roster substitution Saturday, allowing the team to replace Liriano with right-handed pitcher Danny Barnes.

Liriano was hit in the neck by Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez's line-drive single in the eight inning of Friday's game. The ball ricocheted from just below Liriano's head into center field, allowing for a run to score.

Liriano, 32, stayed on his feet and walked around the infield briefly before his teammates, a trainer and manager John Gibbons came out to check on him. He stayed briefly in the dugout, where he got a drink of water, before going to the trainer's room.

According to league rules, a team can request a roster substitution if a player is unable to play due to an injury.

Liriano will be eligible to return during any postseason series, provided that he has been ineligible to play for a minimum of seven days (beginning Saturday) and gets medical approval from MLB.

Team trainer George Poulis said Liriano felt good after tests Saturday.

"We're going to examine him each day and just go from there,'' Poulis said.

Game 3 is Sunday at Toronto.

Wearing a neck brace and lying on a stretcher, he was taken to the hospital for an examination after the game. Liriano flew back with the team to Toronto later Friday evening.

The batted ball was measured at a speed of 102 mph, and Gomez winced as he headed to first.

Liriano and Gomez were teammates in Minnesota and remain good friends. Gomez said he spoke to Liriano on the phone Friday night and was relieved to hear his friend was not seriously hurt.

"I slept better knowing he didn't have any problems,'' Gomez said, adding that he and Liriano had discussed going for dinner together on Saturday night.

So, did Gomez plan on picking up the check after nailing his pal in the head?

"We're both rich, so it doesn't matter,'' he joked.

The team plane stayed on the tarmac for one hour so that Liriano could fly with his teammates.

"It was one of the few times everybody was happy to wait before taking off,'' Blue Jays infielder Darwin Barney said. "Usually you want to get out of there as fast as you can. When we found out he was coming, we were all happy to wait. He's a competitor. He took that ball of the head and didn't even flinch. Obviously it might have rattled him a little bit but, man, he kind of showed what we're all about out there.''

"That was scary," said starter J.A. Happ, who in 2013 was hit by a line drive that fractured his skull behind his left ear but did not cause a concussion. It healed on its own.

"I don't know exactly what's going on but I'm thinking about him a lot. He's gone from here now so I'm hoping for the best for the results, but yeah, that was scary," Happ said.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister was bench coach in Pittsburgh when Liriano pitched for the Pirates. Banister called Friday's incident extremely scary.

"At any point in time, but even now, razor-thin situation of being tragic in my opinion,'' Banister said.

Roberto Osuna replaced Liriano and helped seal the victory for the Blue Jays.

"That could happen to any one of us," Osuna said. "I feel bad for him but I know he's going to be all right."

Toronto has a 2-0 series lead over Texas.

ESPN's Jim Caple and Marly Rivera, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.