Line drive off Carrasco’s face just beginning of bloody Tuesday in MLB

The Major League Baseball season, the experts say, is a marathon, not a sprint.

If that is the case, quite a few big names have already pulled up lame, and we’re barely at the one-mile mark.

Tuesday was easily the bloodiest, most painful day of this young MLB season, with several big names leaving games early due to injury. But the most noteworthy, and scariest, injury of the day came in Cleveland, where Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco was struck in the face by a line drive against the White Sox.

As you can see in the video above, Carrasco was flattened by the Melky Cabrera liner that glanced off his glove and right hand before smacking him on the right side of the face. The right-hander crumpled to the ground in front of the mound with his legs spread wide as manager Terry Francona and a trainer quickly raced out to check on him.

Following the game, Francona said X-rays and a CT scan on Carrasco were negative and he only suffered a bad bruise. Carrasco felt good enough to return to Progressive Field before the game ended. He’ll be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

"In the big picture, we dodged a really big bullet," Francona said. "Really fortunate."

But other teams may not be so fortunate.

Big Worries in Big Apple

No team took a bigger hit on Tuesday than the Mets as both David Wright and Michael Cuddyer left the 6-5 win over the Phillies at home with injuries.

Cuddyer, who had an RBI single in the first, exited in the second after Phillies starter David Buchanan hit him in the hand with a pitch. Luckily for the Mets, X-rays were negative and Cuddyer hopes to play Wednesday night having just a bruised hand.

The news is different for Wright — the seven-time All-Star pulled his right hamstring while stealing second in the eighth and acknowledged it’s possible he’s headed to the disabled list. He’ll have an MRI on Wednesday, but the Mets’ captain said this injury isn’t nearly as bad as the strained right hamstring that sidelined him for seven weeks late in the 2013 season.

"Real frustrating," Wright said. "Hopefully for me the worst-case scenario is two weeks."

Boo-Boo Panda

Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has a sore left foot but no fracture after being hit by a pitch in Boston’s 8-7 win at home over the Washington Nationals.

Sandoval was hit on the top of the foot by Stephen Strasburg in the third inning but remained in the game. He led off the fifth and grounded out to third, then was replaced in the field in the top of the sixth.

After the game, manager John Farrell said Sandoval’s foot got sorer as the game went on but an examination showed no fracture.

One Red Feeling Blue

Brandon Phillips left the Cincinnati’s 3-2 win over the host Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning because of light headedness.

The second baseman appeared to be injured in the fourth inning while running the bases. He singled and advanced to third base on Jay Bruce’s single. Phillips slid awkwardly into the base, and shortstop Starlin Castro fell onto Phillips while trying to make a tag. He stayed in the game and eventually scored the run that proved to be the difference, but after making a diving stop on a grounder up the middle to throw out Dexter Flower in the fourth, Phillips was replaced by Skip Shumacher when the inning was complete.

Pregame Pains

Plenty of players didn’t even start on Tuesday because of injuries suffered prior to the first pitch. Among them:

● Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who a day earlier announced he was going to cut back on his bat-flipping after big hits, was held out of Tuesday’s lineup due to a sore hamstring.

● Indians All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley was held out of the starting lineup for the fifth time because of a bad back. Francona said the club has discussed all options with Brantley, including placing him on the disabled list.

● Marlins Gold Glove winning outfielder Christian Yelich was scratched from the lineup at Atlanta, also because of tightness in his back.

● Earlier in the day the Royals, baseball’s lone remaining unbeaten team, announced right fielder Alex Rios was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his left hand. The team said no timetable for his return has been set, declaring him out indefinitely, but the injury typically takes one month or so to heal.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report