SAN DIEGO – Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran collided so violently in the outfield, face-to-face while diving for a ball, that the first New York Mets (search) teammates who reached them were shaken by what they saw.
"I couldn't imagine being a paramedic going to the scene of a wreck. That's what that was, pretty much, a wreck," said first baseman Marlon Anderson, who ran to the fallen outfielders in the seventh inning of the Mets' 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres (search) on Thursday.
Cameron was dazed and bleeding from his mouth.
"I couldn't go over there, man," left fielder Cliff Floyd said. "Once I saw the blood, I'm not good with blood.
"It choked me up for a minute. We were laughing and giggling one minute, the next minute, a man's down on the ground, both of them."
Cameron and Beltran were hospitalized overnight.
Cameron was taken off the field on a stretcher, his body immobilized and his neck in a brace. He was taken to Mercy Hospital (search), where he underwent two CT scans. Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both cheekbones and a slight concussion, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said. Cameron was placed on the disabled list.
Beltran had a cut near his left temple and his left shoulder was heavily wrapped when he spoke with reporters in the clubhouse. He later was taken to Scripps Clinic for tests.
"I don't remember anything of what happened," Beltran said. "I don't remember how it happened. I know we got hit. I feel like I got hit by a train."
On what turned out to be the game's pivotal play, Cameron and Beltran both sprinted toward David Ross' sinking line drive, watching the ball and diving toward the same spot in medium right-center. They didn't see each other and hit in what many of their teammates said was one of the scariest collisions they've ever seen.
"It's terrible," said catcher Mike Piazza (search), who had the day off and watched from the dugout.
Cameron was fully extended when he and Beltran collided, falling into a heap. The game was delayed for about 13 minutes as the players were tended to by trainers from both teams, then paramedics.
Cameron lifted up his head at one point. He lay on his back at first, then on his left side, apparently to help the blood drain from his mouth. He shielded his eyes from the sun as he was put onto a stretcher by paramedics, lifted onto a cart and driven off the field.
Cameron "was dazed, kind of not really there," Anderson said. "I was like, 'Cam, can you hear me?' He mumbled, 'Yeah,' but he wasn't there. You could tell he wasn't right."
Beltran got up after a few minutes after the collision and eventually walked off the field on his own power.
Beltran said he felt lucky.
"Of course, after a collision like that, I feel good that I'm OK. My shoulder feels sore, but I'll be fine."
Cameron moved from center field to right field during spring training to accommodate Beltran, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, so both play with the same mentality.
"They wanted to make the play," manager Willie Randolph said. "They're both very aggressive and went after it. That happens sometimes when you have two aggressive outfielders. Large crowd and a lot of noise, sometimes you don't hear each other, as far as communication. But it's just the way we play, man, very aggressive, and it's unfortunate to have to collide like that."
Randolph and players on both sides could see the collision coming.
"You kind of flinch a little bit, when you see can see that both of them have a bead on it," Randolph said. "When the guys start laying out a little bit, leaning toward the ball, that's when you assume that maybe something nasty could happen. Very scary."
Neither Cameron nor Beltran caught the ball, which went for a triple. Shortstop Chris Woodward sprinted out to get the ball and throw it into the infield.
When play resumed, with the game tied at 1, Eric Young grounded out to second with the infield playing in, before Joe Randa singled to center off Tom Glavine to bring in Ross with the go-ahead run.
Glavine sat on his haunches on the back of the mound while Cameron and Beltran were tended to.
"There's always things that happen from time to time that put baseball into perspective for everybody, and this is certainly one of those instances," Glavine said. "The game, as much as you want to win it, it's kind of secondary to how those guys are doing, especially Cam. It stinks that we lost and it stinks that one of our buddies got hurt."
The Padres were shaken, too.
"For those guys to be extended like that and going after the ball and seeing their bodies laid out like that, it has to rate as one of the toughest ones to see," Young said.
The Mets recalled outfielder Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk to take Cameron's roster spot.
Floyd was hit on the left knee on a 91 mph fastball from Akinori Otsuka in the eighth. He sprawled on the ground for a few minutes, then needed a few more to shake it off before limping to first.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 32 chances and the 423rd of his career, leaving him one shy of tying John Franco for second on the all-time list. This is his 10th season with at least 30 saves, tying Lee Smith's big league record.
Woody Williams (6-8) got his first win in four decisions. Glavine (8-10) lost for the seventh time in nine road decisions this season.