Catch­ing a break — Mancini’s fin­ger isn’t

OF only suf­fers bruise af­ter ball ric­o­chets off it

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Nathan Ruiz

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.”

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