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Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon salutes a teammate as he walks to the dugout during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Wednesday at Safeco Field, but the game took a backseat for a moment when starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was drilled by a hard line drive off the bat of Jean Segura.

Fortunately, the 44-year-old pitcher had some padding to protect him.

“The important thing is we won the game and I was able to get the out,” Colon said of the line drive estimated at 101 mph that struck him before he threw Segura out at first, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). “He got me on the side. It was not in the middle. And I have a big belly, so I can [handle] it.”

SportsCenter shared a look at the play:

The out was part of a brilliant performance from Colon, who allowed just four hits in 7.2 shutout innings. He also struck out three and didn’t issue a walk, reaching the eighth inning for the second time this season in the process.

Colon lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.82 and has been one of the few bright spots for a Rangers team that is a disappointing 17-27 even after Wednesday’s win.

Reporter John Boyle put Colon’s early 2018 performance into context:

The “big belly” protected him against the Mariners, which means he can continue being one of the best pitchers in the American League.

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