CLEVELAND -- It wasn't the best of starts for Carlos Carrasco, but the Indians' right-hander exited Saturday's 9-3 loss to the Twins for an entirely different reason.
Carrasco was struck in the right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer to lead off the second inning at Progressive Field. After being hit, Carrasco immediately kneeled over, and he was quickly checked out by the Tribe's training staff before leaving the field.
"I thought it might have hit him in the face," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "There was a little bit of a sense of relief, but it caught it right kind of on that funny bone."
Diagnosed with a right forearm contusion, Carrasco was taken to a nearby hospital for precautionary X-rays. Francona said Carrasco was still at the hospital when the game ended and would likely not have an update until Sunday morning.
Carrasco gave up four hits and four runs in the first, while also walking and hitting a batter. Carrasco recorded two strikeouts over his 1 1/3-inning outing.
"It's the biggest fear as a pitcher, is to get hit by a comebacker," said Adam Plutko, who was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday to pitch two innings of relief on Saturday.
It's not the first time Carrasco has been forced to leave a game due to a comebacker. Carrasco was hit on the right side of the face on a liner off the bat of Melky Cabrera on April 14, 2015, against the White Sox. Carrasco also left a game against the Tigers on Sept. 17, 2016, two pitches into his start when he took a liner by Ian Kinsler off his right hand and missed the rest of the season.
Carrasco's season-ending injury in 2016 was ultimately what led to Plutko making his big league debut.
"I hope he doesn't get hit by another baseball again because we need him out there," Plutko said.
Replacing Plutko on Sunday will be Cleveland's No. 3 prospect Shane Bieber, who made his Major League debut against the Twins on May 31. Bieber went 5 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits -- two of which were homers. He also struck out six and walked one. Bieber is 6-1 with a 1.29 ERA in the Minors this season.
Carrasco was dealt the loss and is now 8-5 on the season. The shortened outing raised his ERA from 3.90 to 4.24 through 91 1/3 innings. The Indians have lost four of the last five, and five straight to the Twins for the first time since 2012.