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03/25/11 4:32 PM ET

Bergesen exits after liner to right forearm

Right-hander faces just a single hitter in Friday tilt with Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen was hit in the right forearm by a line drive from Denard Span in the first inning of Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins and had to be lifted after making just four pitches.

Span, the Twins' leadoff hitter, smashed a line drive off Bergesen's pitching arm that actually resulted in an out, as it ricocheted off Bergesen's arm and was caught by second baseman Robert Andino.

Bergesen was immediately examined by the team's trainers and manager Buck Showalter, and the decision was made to take him out of the game. He was replaced by left-hander Mike Ballard.

Bergesen was taken for X-rays, which proved negative, and injury was diagnosed as a right forearm contusion. A more debilitating injury could have proven a major blow to Bergesen's chances of making the starting rotation.

"We're lucky," Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters after the game. "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. But yeah, [Bergesen] got a pretty good one there.

"It seems like Span's hit five or six balls right up the middle like that. We were lucky. We'll see where we are in the next few days, but I'm sure he's going to be pretty sore."

Bergesen, 25, has struggled in Grapefruit League play with a 5.82 ERA over 17 innings. He's also struck out seven and walked six.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.