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Eduardo Nuñez's hit breaks Yankee's rookie Bryan Mitchell's nose

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 16: Eduardo Nunez #9 of the Minnesota Twins hits an RBI bunt single against the Cleveland Indians during the eighth inning of the game on August 16, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 4-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 16: Eduardo Nunez #9 of the Minnesota Twins hits an RBI bunt single against the Cleveland Indians during the eighth inning of the game on August 16, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 4-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

Eduardo Nuñez, a Minnesota Twins' player, was at bat when he hit a liner that seemed to take everyone by surprise.

That hit struck starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell in the face -- breaking the rookie's nose and leaving him a bloody mess. Nuñez said at that moment he didn't know what to think.

"I was very scared," Nunez said afterward, according to NJ.com. "I don't even know what I think. As soon as I saw him on the mound bleeding, I was so scared, you know. I was very sad for him."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had a similar reaction, calling the moment “really, really scary.”

“It seems like your heart just drops into your stomach and you're scared for the kid and you see blood coming out. 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," he said. "But he's in the clubhouse and that's good to see."

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Mitchell, 24, who had just made his third major league start, was forced to leave the game in the second inning and head to the hospital. The rookie pitcher’s return to the locker room after the Yankees’ 8-7 win over the Twins in the 10th inning on Monday night was a welcome sight for the team.

But that hit was not the only mistake Nuñez made. He also bobbled the grounder that drove in the winning run for the Yankees.

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.

But like the rest of the Yankees, he was thinking about the Mitchell.

"He just tried to get out of the way and luckily what could have happened didn't," McCann said.

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 Nuñez, who had been playing shortstop. Nuñez 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. 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 said.

Carlos Beltran hit a tying two-run homer for the Yankees in the sixth. New York loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Casey Fien got McCann on a popup and fanned Beltran.

Rookie Miguel Sano, Trevor Plouffe and Aaron Hicks homered for the Twins. Brian Dozier singled his first three times up, and then struck out after a long foul that umpires reviewed to be sure it wasn't a home run.

McCann hit a three-run homer in the first off Kyle Gibson and had a two-run single in the third that made it 5-all. McCann has enjoyed tremendous success in the first inning this season — in those at-bats, he is 17 for 35 with six home runs and 28 RBIs.

Bird, in the game after Mark Teixeira injured himself on a foul, opened the 10th with a double. He made it to third on McCann's double and Beltran was intentionally walked.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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