Ramirez feels better after HBP; X-rays negative

August 17th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins starter was waiting outside the visitors' clubhouse at Target Field only a few minutes after the Indians' 9-3 win in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader. Even before changing completely out of his uniform, the pitcher wanted to check on .

During the second inning, an errant fastball from Gibson tailed inside and struck Ramirez above his right wrist. It was a troubling sight to see the All-Star gritting his teeth in pain, and then exiting the game, but relief came later when X-rays showed no structural damage and Ramirez was already feeling much improved.

It meant a lot to Ramirez that Gibson wanted to apologize.

"I really appreciate that he came over here," Ramirez said through team translator Anna Bolton. "I'm not mad at him or anything like that. It's an accident. It's something that happens in the game. I wasn't able to see him, because I was getting treatment still, but it was nice to know that he came over here."

Indians manager Terry Francona said Ramirez might be available for the nightcap, but the third baseman was not in the starting lineup. , who took over for Ramirez in Game 1 and contributed a pair of hits, got the nod at third base.

Inside the clubhouse, there was a collective sigh of relief after learning that Ramirez only sustained a bad bruise, especially given how he initially reacted. Ramirez tried to pull his arms in to avoid the inside fastball. He walked for a few steps before dropping to a knee in foul ground, where he was swiftly met by head athletic trainer James Quinlan and Francona.

"It kind of took some of the fun out of the first game for me," Francona said. "I was really worried about that. The way he reacted to it, the trainers kind of being indecisive, it was kind of nagging at me. That was good to hear [that the tests came back clean]."

Immediately after being hit, Ramirez feared the worst.

"Of course I was scared," he said. "It hurt really bad and I thought that I broke it. But I'm fine, thank God. ... I'm getting treatment and doing everything that I need to do. I don't know when it's going to stop hurting. I'm just doing everything necessary to be able to play as soon as I can."

Ramirez -- the starter at third base for the American League All-Star team -- is hitting .308/.362/.533 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs through 117 games. Entering Thursday, the switch-hitter led the AL in extra-base hits (61), was tied for first in doubles (38), tied for fourth in runs (79), ranked fifth in total bases (254) and sixth in WAR (3.9, per Fangraphs)

Losing Ramirez for any amount of time would be tough for the Tribe, which is already playing without (sprained right ankle) and (right calf strain).

"I'm glad everything was OK," right-hander said. "He's our guy over there. I'm really happy for that, that he's OK. Everything is fine. So, I think he'll just have to use a lot of ice now."

Gibson was also pleased to hear Ramirez was already on the mend.

"It was just an instance where I was trying to go in on a guy, not hit a guy at all," Gibson said. "Unfortunately, it just cut on me and I caught him on the arm."