Cubs RHP Black feels bad about Pence injury
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Young Cubs pitcher Corey Black realized something was wrong when Hunter Pence screamed in pain. At that point, there was nothing he could do.
Black was feeling bad Friday after he threw a fastball in his first spring outing that broke Pence's left forearm, sidelining the San Francisco outfielder for six to eight weeks. Pence, one of the leaders for the World Series champions, has played in 383 straight games - the longest active streak in the majors - since the Giants traded for him in July 2012.
''You don't want to hit people, first of all, and then hurting someone on top of that is even worse,'' said Black, who was acquired in the July 2013 trade that sent Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees. ''So it's a bad feeling and I just hope he heals up quick.''
Black quickly looked away when he saw a replay of the sixth-inning pitch in the Cubs' clubhouse on Friday morning. He walked two straight batters in Thursday's outing before hitting Pence, and said he was a little nervous in his first game.
Black and Pence are represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council, and Black found out about the extent of the slugger's injury while he was having dinner with his agent that night.
''I have no hard feelings toward him,'' Pence said. ''It's something that happens. We all know what we're getting into. I could hit a pitcher with a line drive. I don't mean to, and I feel bad, but it's part of the game. This is respect among competitors. This is nothing.''
Black, 23, reached out to Pence over Twitter, and said he also hopes to talk to him. Black, who likely will begin the season at Triple-A Iowa, said he received some negative messages from Giants fans on social media, but many were supportive after he apologized.
''I've already walked by him and I said, `Don't you dare worry about any of that,''' manager Joe Maddon said before Friday's 5-2 loss to Cincinnati. ''That's part of the game. That just happened. It happens once in a while. It's awful when it happens. He wasn't trying to do that. That's part of the game of baseball.''
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap