BOSTON -- The third baseman was in the hospital, undergoing tests on his right side. The catcher was gingerly headed home on a sore left knee, planning to ice, he said, "until the wee hours of the morning."
"We’re a little banged up right now," said Red Sox catcher David Ross, one of the two principals in a fifth-inning collision that ultimately knocked two Sox players out of Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins, the other being third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
“We’re kind of weathering the storm as far as the team goes," he said. “Just doing our best to get out there."
The injuries have been adding up for the Red Sox at an alarming pace, even when compared with last year’s epidemic of 34 stints on the disabled list for 27 players. On consecutive days this week, the Sox placed two closers on the DL -- Andrew Bailey (strained biceps) on Monday, Joel Hanrahan (strained forearm) on Tuesday -- making it eight players for nine DL stints, as this is the second go-round for Hanrahan.
That’s in just the team’s first 32 games. Last week, outfielder Shane Victorino managed to avoid the DL, but he missed seven games with a lower-back strain.
It’s a familiar story, of course, the calculus of health impacting the fortunes of every team, but that doesn’t make it any easier to endure.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was hopeful that the collision between Ross and Middlebrooks while in pursuit of a foul fly ball (caught by the third baseman) will not have lasting consequences. The impact of the collision carried Middlebrooks into the lower wall beneath the box-seat railing.
Farrell said he thought Ross was day-to-day with what the team was calling a bruised left quadriceps, and was hopeful of a similar outcome for Middlebrooks.
“We don’t think Will’s situation is more than day-to-day at this point," Farrell said. “We’ll certainly get a better read when the test results come back, but my thoughts haven’t gone down that path yet."
Ross said he wasn’t entirely certain of how he got hurt.
“It happened so fast," he said. “Everybody told me that my shinguard, as I hit the ground, it forwarded [sic] over and my knee hit the dirt pretty hard. It’s right on the top of my knee.
“I jammed the top of my kneecap. The top of my kneecap is really sore. There’s some swelling in there. If I wasn’t a catcher, I think I’d be fine, but squatting is a little sore. I couldn’t get up there in case the ball was in the dirt and [I had to] stop it from getting to the backstop. It was best to let Salty [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] get in there. Tough night."
Ross said X-rays came back negative, and Farrell said the knee checked out OK structurally, which is why he was confident Ross would not be out for long. Middlebrooks, however, was sent to Massachusetts General Hospital for X-rays and a CT scan, according to Farrell, even though he batted once more after the collision and did not leave the game until the Sox took the field for the seventh.
According to Farrell, Middlebrooks said he didn’t feel anything during his at-bat in the fifth, when he grounded out to second, and told the manager he could have remained in the game. He was removed, Farrell said, for precautionary reasons.
Ross was asked if he worried that Middlebrooks might have borne the brunt of the collision.
“I hurt pretty good and he came out late, so I hope not," Ross said. “But ribs are like knees, which as a catcher, are nothing to mess around with. You throw, you use your obliques for everything. I just hope it’s the same kind of thing, some kind of bruise."
Middlebrooks was replaced at third by Pedro Ciriaco, who committed fielding errors on the first two balls hit in the eighth, leading to a four-run Minnesota rally that put the game out of reach. Saltalamacchia, who had replaced Ross, also was charged with a throwing error in the inning.
Farrell had noted earlier this year that the Sox did not have great depth at third base, but said that is not a concern at the moment.
“Short term, it’s not a concern," he said. “That was uncharacteristic of Pedro tonight. He’s shown to be a very dependable defender. Two miscues are unlike him."