Red Sox all-star pitcher Matt Clement was hit on the right side of the head by Carl Crawford's line drive last night and carried from the field on a stretcher in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Clement could be seen blinking when he was placed on the stretcher, and the Red Sox said he was conscious and alert as he was taken to Bayfront Medical Center near Tropicana Field for further evaluation.

"He had some numbness throughout the site where he got hit behind the right ear," said Lt. Rick Feinberg of the St. Petersburg Fire-Rescue.

The hospital did not immediately comment on Clement's condition, but Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill said a CT scan was negative.

"I have spoken with Matt and his doctors in Florida," Gill said. "Matt himself never lost consciousness and is in good spirits. . . . He appears to be doing well, but will stay in the hospital for precautionary purposes and will be reevaluated in the morning."

After he was hit, Clement remained on the ground and barely moved for about five minutes before he was lifted onto the stretcher and immobilized with a neck brace. Replays showed the force of the hit knocked Clement completely off his feet.

The ball caromed off the back of Clement's head, just behind his right ear, into short left field in the third inning. Concerned teammates gathered around the fallen pitcher as medical personnel attended to him on the mound. The crowd cheered as he was carried off, but his arms remained strapped across his chest. . . .

Red Sox OF Trot Nixon left the game in the third inning after swinging and missing at a pitch. He was grimacing and clutching his left side after the swing. There was no immediate announcement on the nature of his injury.

* HAFNER ON DL: The Indians placed DH Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list after he missed nine games because of a concussion. The move is retroactive to July 17. He has been having dizzy spells since being hit in the face by a pitch from the White Sox' Mark Buehrle on July 16.

* UNSTABLE ROTATION: Kevin Brown was scratched from his scheduled start tomorrow because of chronic back pain and Carl Pavano was pushed back as he comes back from a shoulder injury, leaving the Yankees uncertain about two turns in the rotation this week.

-- From News Services

Red Sox starter Matt Clement is attended to by medical personnel and trainers before being lifted onto a stretcher.