CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Indians may have won a laugher over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night, but there weren’t any smiles in the home dugout during a scary fifth-inning situation involving Carlos Santana.
Santana was removed from Thursday’s contest after a foul ball hit by teammate Francisco Lindor entered the dugout and struck Santana in the head. Cleveland’s DH fell to the ground and was examined in the dugout before team trainers assisted him back to the team’s clubhouse.
Santana was officially diagnosed with a contusion on the right side of his head after being struck by the hard-hit ball.
“He’s actually doing much better,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We got him checked out and we sent him home a little bit ago, just so he can try to get a good night’s rest. By the time he left, he was really rallying. We’ll check him in the morning, because if there’s any concussion symptoms, you have to err on the side of caution.”
Santana has suffered concussions in the past, so that adds to the team’s cautious approach.
“I don’t think Carlos thinks he has [a concussion], and he’s had a few before,” Francona said. “The good part of it was that as hard as he got hit and as bad as it looked, for him to half-hour later to start to feel better really kind of made everybody feel better.”
Understandably, Lindor was a bit shaken by the scary situation.
“I feel terrible,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not trying to do that. It’s a moment you don’t want. Nobody wants something like that. I feel bad. I couldn’t get my mind off it.”
Lindor continued to check on Santana’s status throughout the rest of the game.
“Every inning,” Lindor said. “Between innings, I came up here. I didn’t see him until during the second rain delay. I saw him and talked to him and he seemed like he was doing OK. I felt relief.”
Santana hit his fifth leadoff home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning for Cleveland, his 25th homer of the campaign. The round-tripper countered Mike Trout’s solo bomb in the top of the first.
The Indians continued to pour it on after Santana’s blast, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first.
“You know you have nine innings to go, but it’s nice to come back and play even,” Francona said. “And then we kind of jumped on them and stayed on them, which is good. If you want to be a good team, you’ve got to have games where you spread it out, so you can not just go to the back-end of your bullpen all the time. Tonight was good for a number of reasons.”
Cleveland went on to beat the struggling Angels in the first of a four-game series, 14-4.