Francona returns after minor health scare

Francona returns after minor health scare

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona was back at Progressive Field on Wednesday, and planned on returning to the dugout after a minor health scare one night earlier.

In the eighth inning of Tuesday's 7-5 loss to the Dodgers, Francona retreated to the clubhouse after feeling ill, and had bench coach Brad Mills manage the remainder of the game. Mills also handled the postgame media session for Francona, who was later taken to a local hospital, where he received fluids intravenously.

Francona was doing much better ahead of Wednesday's game.

"Embarrassed," said Francona, when asked how he was feeling. "Last night, I was having a hard time during the game. I was light-headed, more than normal, and my heart was, I knew it was going too fast. ... I was having a hard time, so I finally came inside, because I was like, 'Man, something's not right.' So, they end up taking me to the hospital, gave me a bunch of IVs. They did a bunch of tests.

"They even checked my brain, and they didn't find anything, which did not surprise me."

Kidding aside, Francona was glad it was nothing other than dehydration.

"I checked out," he said. "You show up the next day and you're more embarrassed than anything, and now I'm beat up. And I got to go with the [ambulance] lights on to the hospital, so that was a treat."

Tuesday's incident did not seem as serious as last season, when Francona experienced chest discomfort during a pregame interview with reporters and then missed Cleveland's Aug. 9 game against the Nationals. After Mills filled in for that game last summer, Francona returned the next day after passing a series of tests.

Francona experienced a similar issue while managing the Red Sox on April 6, 2005, and was taken to a hospital in New York after what was described as "stiffness" in his chest. Mills, who was also Francona's bench coach in Boston at that time, filled in as the manager then as well.

In fall 2002, Francona also dealt with chest pains, though that was the result of a blood clot that was in his lungs. The manager was hospitalized for four days during that episode after suffering a pulmonary embolism on each side of his lungs. That health incident resulted in permanent damage to Francona's circulation.

"Obviously, his health is the most important to us," Indians outfielder Daniel Robertson said. "We don't go anywhere without him. He is the heart and soul of us."

Kipnis scratched from lineup

Prior to their game against the Dodgers on Wednesday, the Indians scratched second baseman Jason Kipnis from the lineup because of neck spasms. Kipnis was slated to hit leadoff. Utility man Erik Gonzalez will take his place at second and hit ninth. Center fielder Bradley Zimmer, who was initially set to bat ninth, moved to the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.