Catching a break — Mancini’s finger isn’t
OF only suffers bruise after ball ricochets off it
MINNEAPOLIS — After delivering his American League-leading 39th hit of the season in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, Orioles right fielder Trey Mancini exited with what manager Brandon Hyde clarified afterward was a bruised right index finger.
Two pitches before singling into center field, his 12th hit in 23 firstinning at-bats, Mancini swung on a 91.7 mph inside fastball from Twins righthander José Berríos.
The ball ricocheted off the second knuckle of Mancini’s finger and was ruled foul.
“I couldn’t feel my finger whatsoever, so I wasn’t really sure what happened,” Mancini said. “He released the ball and the spin looked like the breaking ball I saw earlier, and obviously it wasn’t.
“I just kept my swing going and took it off my finger. Not ideally what you’re trying to do up there.”
Hyde described Mancini as day to day with the injury, with neither able to definitively offer what Mancini’s status would be for Sunday’s series finale as the Orioles try to avoid a sweep.
“We’ll see in the morning [with] having to grip a bat, throw a ball and things like that,” Mancini said. “But I don’t see it as anything to keep me out too long at all.”
With the injury happening on a 1-2 pitch, Mancini said he stayed in to continue his at-bat because he didn’t want to give the Twins time to review the play. The ball never actually hit Mancini’s bat and thus could’ve been ruled strike three.
“I was just trying to stay up there and one-arm something, knowing I’d have to come out of the game after that,” Mancini said. “Luckily, nothing is broken or anything like that. That’s good news.”
Good news for not only Mancini, but also the Orioles. The single extended Mancini’s hitting streak to nine games.
In addition to pacing the AL in hits, he entered play Saturday among league leaders in runs (23, second), extra-base hits (17, tied for second), doubles (11, tied for third), batting average (.349, sixth), slugging percentage (.615, seventh) and OPS (1.015, eighth).
Upon arriving at first base, Mancini was examined by Hyde and a member of the team’s medical staff and removed from the game.
“I was thinking the worst, to be honest with you, when I went out there and he was having a tough time moving it,” Hyde said. “The look on his face — Trey’s obviously an extremely tough guy. We were all worried it was something bad.”
Hanser Alberto entered as a pinch runner for Mancini and took over at second base in the bottom of the first. Stevie Wilkerson, who was starting at second, instead began the game in right field in place of Mancini.
X-rays revealed no break; Mancini had the finger taped postgame.
“Very relieving because I wasn’t so sure,” Mancini said. “Once the numbness wore off, it was pretty painful. But definitely feeling better now.”