Chris Iannetta available to play after being hit by pitch in mouth

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta went to the hospital on Friday night after being hit in the face by a pitch from Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Johnny Barbato. But the good news on Saturday is that Iannetta could play if needed despite suffering a couple of fractured teeth and a nose fracture.

Iannetta, who homered earlier in the game, was batting in the seventh inning when he turned into a 93-mph fastball that got away from the Pirates’ hurler. Once Ianetta turned his front shoulder, there was no place for him to go. Barbato’s pitch appeared to hit him squarely in the mouth, which split his lip.

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Iannetta was immediately tended to by athletic trainers from both teams. Towels were immediately pressed against his face to help control bleeding.

After a few minutes, Iannetta was helped to his feet and walked off the field under his own power. While that was an encouraging sign, manager Torey Lovullo cautioned Iannetta would undergo tests to assess if there was more than superficial damage done.

“Everything was OK,” Lovullo said after the game. “He split his lip open and he’s at the hospital right now to get further exams. Anytime there’s head trauma, anytime there’s something that hits you in that area, you’re never comfortable until a diagnosis has been made so we’re using every precaution to make sure that he’s okay.”

Chris Iannetta is tended to by Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo after getting hit in the face by a pitch on Friday night. (Getty Images)

Fortunately, it appears Iannetta will be fine.

The D-backs went on to win Friday’s game 11-4. Though before the night was over, Arizona made sure to even the hit batter score by drilling Pirates’ catcher Chris Stewart in the leg.

Remember, there’s some history between these franchises. On Aug. 2, 2014, Paul Goldschmidt suffered a fractured left hand after being hit by a pitch. The very next day, Arizona retaliated by hitting Andrew McCutchen, who was forced to miss time with a rib injury. We’re not saying it will escalate to that level again, but the Diamondbacks clearly weren’t happy about what happened.

Right now though, it’s just good to hear Chris Iannetta will be back in action sooner than later.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!