Tribe relieved; Santana's thumb merely bruised

Tribe relieved; Santana's thumb merely bruised

CLEVELAND -- The Indians received good news a few hours after a left thumb injury forced catcher Carlos Santana from Monday's 11-6 loss to the Yankees: X-rays taken after the game were negative, revealing that he sustained nothing more than a bruise in the ninth inning of Cleveland's home opener. The slugging catcher is day to day.

Santana got crossed up on a pitch from closer Chris Perez and sustained a contusion after being struck on the thumb while trying to catch the baseball. Santana was in obvious pain and exited the game after being attended to briefly by manager Terry Francona and a team trainer.

"Obviously, he's going to be sore, at best," Francona said before the results of the X-rays were known.

Santana was replaced behind the dish by backup catcher Lou Marson, who was still dealing with some lingering neck stiffness from his collision at the plate with Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings in Saturday's game. Marson was feeling better as of Monday afternoon and was deemed fine to catch by Francona, if necessary.

Losing the switch-hitting Santana for any significant length of time would have been a big blow for the Indians in this young season. With his 1-for-2 showing in Monday's loss, the catcher is hitting .500 (13-for-26) with two home runs, four walks, five runs scored and five RBIs through seven games this season.

Last year, the 26-year-old Santana hit .252 with 18 homers, 27 doubles, 76 RBIs and 91 walks in 143 games for Cleveland. He had a breakout year in 2011, hitting 27 homers to go along with 79 RBIs and 97 walks.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.