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Hudson injured in scary ninth-inning collision

Hudson injured in scary ninth-inning collision

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' 6-3 win over the Rangers on Sunday night came to an end on a scary collision between center fielder Denard Span and second baseman Orlando Hudson that may have resulted in an injury to Hudson's left hand.

With two on and two outs in the ninth, Hudson and Span were both running full speed toward shallow center field to try to catch a high fly ball hit by Vladimir Guerrero. Span managed to make the lunging catch for the final out of the game, but he collided with Hudson in the midst of the play -- sending both players flying in the air.

Span rose under his own power soon thereafter, but Hudson remained sprawled out on the ground for several minutes as the rest of his teammates and coaching staff headed toward center field. Hudson stayed on the ground as the training staff tended to him before he was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power.

"I was definitely scared after we collided," Span said. "It happened so fast that I didn't really realize what happened until I hit the ground."

While the game was over, the Twins weren't able to enjoy their victory until they knew that both players were OK.

"You immediately go to those two guys because a guy's health is more important than a game," said right fielder Michael Cuddyer said. "Once they were able to walk off the field, you celebrate the win."

Hudson's left arm hit Span below the belt during the collision, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Hudson, who declined comment after the game, was undergoing X-rays on his left hand. It's the same hand/wrist that Hudson dislocated back in August 2008, an injury that required surgery.

"We'll probably know more tomorrow, where we can give you updates, but right now it's all got to be checked out," Gardenhire said. "He's pretty sore."

Span said that he was playing deep in center field to protect against any doubles and had to sprint to the shallow part of the field in order to make the play. While he couldn't verbally say anything to Hudson due to the speed he was running, he said he tried to make a motion with his hand to let Hudson know he was going to get to the ball.

"I thought he started to veer off as I got closer, but he definitely was running just as hard as I was, so he obviously didn't see me [waving him off]," Span said. "He definitely got the worst of the collision."

"Those are scary things," Gardenhire said. "When you're all out and going for the ball, we don't have pads on. You're pretty wide open, especially when you're going for the ball like that."

The Twins must now wait to find out just how serious Hudson's injury might be. They open a seven-game West Coast swing Monday night in Seattle.

The Rangers seemed to be just as shaken up as the Twins after seeing Sunday's contest end like that, although they said it was a relief to see both players walk off on their own accord.

"I don't know how he got up from that," said Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler. "I thought he was knocked out. I was really happy to see him get up and not brought off on a stretcher."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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