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07/26/08 12:00 AM ET
Gomez exits early with back injury
Center fielder crashes into wall while making leaping catch
By Andrew Gribble / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Carlos Gomez says he wouldn't wish the pain he is feeling in his lower back on anybody. Fortunately for Gomez and the Twins, indescribable pain is all he has to show for the spectacular catch that sent him slamming into the left-field wall at Progressive Field on Friday. MRI scans conducted at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland revealed no broken bones in Gomez's back, leaving the 22-year-old listed as day-to-day. He will be re-evaluated Saturday morning after what promises to be a rough night's sleep. "I've never felt pain like this in my life," Gomez said. Gomez slammed his back against the wall while catching a drive to left-center field off the bat of Ben Francisco. Gomez immediately fell to the ground, grimacing in pain and clutching his back before tossing the ball to left fielder Delmon Young. "When I hit the ground, I'm crying like a baby," Gomez said. "I felt like I had something broken." After nearly 10 minutes, Gomez, 22, was placed on a stretcher, with his neck stabilized in a brace, and carted off the field. Gomez was back in the Twins' clubhouse shortly after Friday's 5-4 loss, noticeably hobbling and complaining of dizziness -- likely a side effect of the pain medication he received at the hospital, he said. Gomez, the centerpiece of the deal that sent Johan Santana to the Mets before the season, has had a number of awkward run-ins with fences in his first full season in the Majors. "When you're running that fast, the warning track is very small, Gardenhire said. "You and I may be able to slow up and not hit the wall, but he runs a little faster than us."
Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.