4:05 PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS — Watching right fielder Josh Naylor and second baseman Ernie Clement on a collision course chasing a popup, everyone at Target Field kept waiting for somebody to veer off.
They never did.
The Cleveland Indians defenders smacked into each other, a scary moment Sunday that left Naylor with a significant injury and both dugouts shaken.
After an 8-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, Indians manager Terry Francona said Naylor had suffered a broken bone — but he wasn’t sure which one — and was being treated at a hospital.
“That’s obviously playing out in front of anyone’s eyes,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You can’t, you know, once you see that, you’re not going to unsee it, and it brings out feelings, too, and it’s hard for people to sometimes regardless of what team you’re on, refocus, and there’s a lot of people that care about that young man, and we’ll be thinking about him as time goes on.”
The accident occurred in the fourth inning when Jorge Polanco checked his swing and made contact, sending a flare into the shallow outfield.
Naylor went flying and spinning after the collision and had his right foot catch underneath him, twisting the foot the wrong way.
Teammates immediately called for medical attention with Naylor writhing on the ground in agony. He was taken off the field on a stretcher with his right foot in an air cast.
“It’s hard,” Francona said. “You saw the way he reacted. It’s hard to not react to that. Everybody’s certainly thinking about him. I was worried about Ernie, too, because Ernie had a pretty good cut on his chin.”
Clement had the ball glance off his glove for a single.
“To be honest, it was really, really hard,” Indians catcher Rene Rivera said. “The way he reacted, it was heartbreaking, man. It’s hard. A guy like him, nice guy in the clubhouse, really a lot of energy, positivity, and to see him go through that was really tough. You can tell the teammate, the full dugout was really shook.”
Said Francona: “On the replay, Naylor, I think, was going to catch it right about shoulder height. So, he’s got to call it. The second baseman, he’s going until he hears something. So, there’s got to be some communication there, and I don’t believe there was.”
Clement was playing his seventh game in the majors.
“He could have been on the receiving end, but he came out of it with just a cut on his chin,” Francona said. “But he felt terrible and it wasn’t his fault, but he felt terrible. He’s a great kid.”
Cleveland has been hit hard by injuries this season, with pitchers Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac among those who have missed time.
Play resumed after a 12-minute delay.