NEW YORK—Long after they saw starter Bryan Mitchell suddenly exit with a bloody face and head to the hospital, the N.Y. Yankees were greeted with a most welcome sight: the rookie pitcher was back in the locker-room after a late win.
Chase Headley hit a bases-loaded grounder in the 10th inning that Minnesota’s five-man infield bobbled and the Yankees, despite losing Mitchell to a line drive that caused a nasal fracture, beat the Twins 8-7 last night.
“Really, really scary,” said Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi.
“It seems like your heart just drops into your stomach, and you’re scared for the kid and you see blood coming out,” he noted.
“I was really worried, but he has a small hairline fracture in his nose and we’re going to monitor him pretty closely the next 24 hours,” Girardi added.
“But he’s in the clubhouse and that’s good to see.”
Eduardo Nunez hit the liner that injured Mitchell in the second inning.
In a game that took more than four hours to play, Nunez bobbled the grounder that drove in the winning run.
Brian McCann homered, drove in five runs, and sliced a double off left-fielder Eddie Rosario’s glove in the 10th that set up the winning misplay.
The catcher also threw out three runners trying to steal.
Like the rest of the Yankees, he was thinking about the 24-year-old Mitchell, who made just his third major-league start.
“He just tried to get out of the way and luckily what could have happened didn’t,” McCann said.
“I saw him here after the game for a minute and it seemed like he was doing fine,” noted Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner.
Rookie Greg Bird doubled and the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th against Glen Perkins (1-4).
Twins’ manager Paul Molitor took out right-fielder Torii Hunter and added an extra infielder—the strategy was good, his team’s fielding wasn’t.
Headley hit a hard grounder up the middle to Nunez, who had been playing shortstop.
Nunez fumbled the ball and by the time he recovered, he had no chance for a forceout at the plate.
Andrew Miller (1-2) got the victory as the AL East-leading Yankees started a season-high 10-game homestand with their third win in four games.
The Twins, contending for a wild card, lost to begin a 10-game trip that also will take them to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
Knocked to the ground, Mitchell left with a towel over his bloody face.
He was taken to a hospital and released.
The Yankees will monitor him for the possibility of concussion symptoms.
“I get goosebumps talking about it,” Molitor said. “You’re playing the game, and then you see someone go through something like that.
“I know they’ve talked about trying to find that protective cap for pitchers,” he added. “[But] they haven’t come up with anything that looks very practical as of yet.
“The face is pretty much something that’s going to be unprotected, no matter what you do,” he reasoned.
Elsewhere in the AL, Baltimore doubled Oakland 4-2, Cleveland dumped Boston 8-2, Texas edged Seattle 4-3, Tampa Bay pounded Houston 9-2, and L.A. nipped Chicago 2-1.