OAKLAND, California (AP) " Not all athletes who suffer serious head injuries are able to overcome the physical and psychological wounds.
Exactly seven months after being struck in the head by a line drive that left him with a cracked skull, Matt Shoemaker looked every bit the same pitcher he had been.
Shoemaker tossed five effective innings in his return to the mound to help rally the Los Angeles Angels past the Oakland Athletics 7-6 on Tuesday night.
It was Shoemaker's first regular-season outing since he was hit by a line drive off Kyle Seager's bat in Seattle last September, an injury that required surgery to stop bleeding in his brain.
The right-hander wore a carbon-fiber protective insert under his cap to protect an area where a titanium plate was inserted on his skull.
"He's very determined," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been very determined his whole career to get to this point. I think once he was physically fit, I think everyone felt that he would come back.
"He's got the perseverance to get back on that mound and hopefully have the success that he had before."
Shoemaker threw 99 pitches and labored at times. But he left with a 4-2 lead after allowing home runs to Jed Lowrie and Ryon Healy.
There was a bit of a scare in the fourth, when Stephen Vogt's broken-bat glanced off Shoemaker's hip.
"It felt pretty good. A little erratic with the location, but overall it felt pretty good," Shoemaker said.
The Angels trailed 6-4 in the ninth when Danny Espinosa sent an 0-2 slider from Ryan Dull over the fence in right-center for a three-run homer to give his team the lead and the win.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings