Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona thought the worst when Carlos Carrasco was struck on the right arm by a line drive.
“From where I was standing I thought it might have hit him in the face so there was a little bit of a sense of relief, but it caught him right kind of on that funny bone,” Francona said after the Indians’ 9-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. “He was hurting.”
Carrasco grabbed his arm after being hit by Joe Mauer’s leadoff liner in the second inning and went to his knees on the infield grass.
Although the Indians announced Carrasco was diagnosed with a forearm contusion, Francona said the pitcher was struck on the elbow. During his postgame press conference, Francona said Carrasco was still being examined at a hospital. The team was expected to have an update Sunday.
The Twins got four hits from Eddie Rosario in their latest victory over the Indians. Rosario hit his 16th homer for the Twins, who have won five straight against the AL Central leaders to improve to 6-2 against Cleveland this season.
Rosario swung at the first pitch in all four of his hits. He also scored four times, drove in two runs and swiped a base. Rosario is batting .471 with six homers and 11 RBIs against Cleveland this season.
“Everything is going good,” he said. “I like it. I feel more comfortable playing against the Indians.”
“Four pitches, four hits today,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “Right now, he feels like he can hit just about anything.”
Minnesota scored four runs in the first off Carrasco (8-5). Eduardo Escobar and Max Kepler each hit a two-run double in the inning. Logan Morrison had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth.
Matt Magill (2-1) got the win with three scoreless innings in relief of Fernando Romero.
Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez homered in the first for Cleveland, which has lost four of five.
Carrasco’s injury forced the Indians to use six relievers, including Adam Plutko, who was scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale. Plutko pitched the seventh and eighth.
Outfielder Brandon Guyer, making his first professional pitching appearance, retired the side in order in the ninth on eight pitches.
Carrasco was coming off one of his best starts of the season. He struck out 11 in seven shutout innings against the White Sox on Monday, but he struggled against the Twins. Carrasco threw 37 pitches in the first when he allowed four hits, walked a batter and hit another.
Mauer lined the second pitch of the second to the mound, striking Carrasco directly on the arm. He hopped off the mound and went to the ground before being visited by Francona and a team trainer. Carrasco then walked to the dugout with the trainer and was replaced by Oliver Perez.
“You don’t want to see anybody get hit with a line drive like that,” Molitor said. “It kind of shakes everyone for a moment, even though you try not to let it.”
The ball that struck Carrasco rolled to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who stepped on the bag for the out.
Carrasco was hit in the face by a line drive in 2015, but made his next turn in the rotation. The right-hander broke his right hand after being hit by a line drive late in the 2016 season and missed the playoffs.
Mauer led off the game with a single, his first hit since being activated from the disabled list Friday. Rosario walked and both runners scored on Escobar’s double. Morrison was hit by a pitch. Robbie Grossman’s one-out single loaded the bases and Kepler doubled high off the wall in right, scoring two more runs.
Rosario hit an RBI single in the sixth and a solo homer in the eighth.
Guyer was told late in the game that he’d be pitching the ninth. He retired Taylor Motter on a groundout and Ryan LaMarre and Kepler on fly balls.
“I was a pretty good pitcher back in the day,” Guyer said. “I had elbow surgery when I was 12 that ended the pitching days.”
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (toe fracture) will begin a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.
Indians: LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) has thrown several bullpen sessions, but it hasn’t been decided when he’ll face hitters as part of his rehab process.
Twins RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.19 ERA) will start the series finale. RHP Shane Bieber (0-0, 6.35) will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to start for the Indians.
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