- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- It looked so horrific when it happened that Red Sox manager Terry Francona vowed that he would not watch a replay.
The left leg of Cleveland Indians rookie catcher Carlos Santana, one of the top prospects in baseball, collapsed at a freakish angle when Red Sox rookie Ryan Kalish slid into him attempting to score in the seventh inning Monday night.
"I don't want to see it," Francona said after the Indians beat the Red Sox 6-5. "I saw it live. I don't want to see the replay."
Kalish was attempting to score on a single to right field by a third rookie, pinch hitter Daniel Nava, when he slid full-bore into Santana's left leg, which was planted to block the plate as he took a strong throw from right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
But if initial reports are to be believed, Santana may not have been as grievously injured as many assumed when he was being carted off the field at Fenway Park, his leg in an inflatable orange cast, after a delay of nearly 15 minutes.
"He tested well with the trainers, meaning that they don't feel he has any serious damage," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's leaving tomorrow for Cleveland to get an MRI done and then we'll have more of an update.
"That was a very good play, a good block of home plate. And I thought that was the key of the game because they had some momentum going in that inning."
That the Indians are choosing to send Santana home for additional tests would suggest they still have questions as to whether his knee is damaged. But Kalish said he spoke by telephone to Santana, who was in the trainers' room in the visiting clubhouse after the game, and that Santana spoke optimistically about his condition.
"I've already talked to him and he's doing a lot better than they thought," said Kalish, who was unable to dislodge the ball from Santana's mitt and was called out on the play, ending the inning.
"I feel awful."
Kalish watched from the dugout as all eight of Santana's teammates on the field gathered around him while doctors and trainers worked on him. Several of Kalish's teammates, including Kevin Youkilis, spoke with the shaken player.
"I went and talked to him, told him it was part of the game," Francona said. "Unfortunately, sometimes things like that happen."
Santana, 24, who came to the Indians from the Dodgers in a 2008 trading-deadline deal for third baseman Casey Blake, was rated Cleveland's No. 1 prospect entering this season by trade publication Baseball America. He was the MVP of the Eastern League last season, hitting 23 home runs for Akron while leading the league in slugging percentage (.530) and OPS (.943).
Promoted to Triple-A Columbus, Santana was batting .316 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs in 57 games when he was promoted to the Indians on June 11. The switch-hitter came into Monday night's game batting .265 in 45 games with Cleveland and his six home runs since his debut are tied with Jorge Posada for most by an AL catcher in that timeframe.
Santana wears No. 41 for the Indians in tribute to his idol, former Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez, who is now with Boston and was among the onlookers Monday night. Martinez was on the top step of the dugout and said something to Santana as he was driven off.
"That's the last thing you want to see on the field," Martinez said. "It's always tough to watch something like that happen.
"I got to know him a little bit in spring training. He has great talent, man. He has a great chance to be a special player in this level. I really wish him the best, and hopefully he'll get better quick."
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.
8hTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com