By Sam Bush

The Phillies regard JT Realmuto him as one of the toughest players in baseball.

And that’s because he stayed in the game after a foul ball nailed him in the groin.

Realmuto was down for several minutes as trainer Paul Buchheit urged the three-time All-Star catcher to “breathe, breathe, breathe.” Realmuto laughed when he said he was trying to breathe but “I was in a lot of pain.”

Realmuto bailed out the Phillies when he took a perfect throw from Stott — the second baseman was obscured by new LED lights in right field — and tagged out a hard-charging Oliver Dunn in the 10th to roaring cheers of “JT! JT! JT!”

“They’ve had my back for a lot of years now, so to hear that in that big of a spot, being able to get out of the inning was the most important thing, but that was pretty cool for me to experience that,” Realmuto said.

Manager Rob Thomson — a former catcher — said Realmuto was “one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around.”

“If you’ve ever been hit there,” Thomson said, “it’s not a whole lot of fun.”

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