HOUSTON - Umpire Jerry Crawford took one heck of a hit on the top of his head during the Phillies' game yesterday at Minute Maid Park.

Crawford, a Havertown native who graduated from Monsignor Bonner High in 1965, staggered to the Houston Astros' dugout in the top of the first inning after Carlos Lee's bat struck him in the head on the follow-through of his swing. Crawford, a major-league umpire since 1977, suffered a bloody gash and did not return to the game.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he had a CAT scan. He did not suffer a concussion and did not need stitches.

"I'm OK," said Crawford, who held a towel to his head as he spoke to reporters in the umpires' dressing room after the Phillies' 15-6 victory. "I've got a little headache, but it hit me in the right spot. Tell everybody I'm OK."

Crawford, who lives in Florida with his wife, Carol, had to leave a game last month after he suffered a reaction to his medication.

"My luck right now isn't going real good," Crawford said.

Still, he plans to work tonight in Cleveland, though he won't work behind the plate in the next three days.

That must be that Philly toughness.

"Positively," he said.

Play was suspended about 10 minutes before Rob Drake took Crawford's place behind the plate. Two pitches later, Cole Hamels threw Lee a 3-2 fastball, which was hit to left field for a three-run home run.

Did the delay affect Hamels?

"I think what happened kind of answers that," Hamels said.