Rockies' Gonzalez suffers bruised thumb
Center fielder exits finale after diving attempt in fourth
DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez was pulled from the Rockies' series finale vs. the Dodgers on Thursday after the fourth inning with a bruised left thumb following an attempt at a diving play in center field.
It was Gonzalez's first start after missing four starts with a laceration to his left hand.Gonzalez left the game, which was won by the Dodgers, 3-2, with the score tied at 2. His two-out single to center in the third inning sparked a two-run rally to tie the game. In the top of the fourth, Gonzalez charged in on a James Loney blooper, diving forward for it but missing the ball and letting it go for a double. He remained in the field and caught a Brad Ausmus fly ball for the inning's second out. His turn didn't come up in the bottom of the fourth, and Eric Young Jr. took his spot in center field for the top of the fifth. The bruised thumb is at least partially distinct from the laceration he suffered with a steak knife last Saturday, but it did seem to aggravate the previous injury, leading to some bleeding and swelling of his hand. "I came out of the game because I was not able to hold the bat and squeeze hard," Gonzales said. "Right now, I'm feeling better. The pain is going away. So that's a good sign." Gonzalez appeared in each of the Rockies' extra-inning games while recovering from his hand injury, entering Monday's 14-inning win over the Giants as a pinch-runner in the 10th. He came into Tuesday's 10-inning win over the Dodgers as a defensive replacement in the ninth with the Rockies ahead, 4-1. After the Dodgers tied it, he bunted with a man on first, reaching base on an error and sparking the winning rally. "Today I was feeling really good," Gonzalez said. "I hit in the cage before the game. Everything was going perfect. My hand was fine. And then after I hit the ground it turned purple again. It was a lot of pain after I hit the ground. It was hard to bend it, to move my fingers." Gonzalez is considered day-to-day, and he hopes to remain with the team and off the disabled list, feeling better than he did with the initial injury. The Rockies shared his guarded optimism. "He jammed his thumb a little bit," manager Jim Tracy said. "Nothing is serious, however. He was bleeding and he kind of lost some feeling in his thumb. Keith [Dugger, head athletic trainer] told me because of the bleeding that was taking place, it may have gotten into the joint and numbed his thumb up to where he didn't feel like he could throw, and he certainly didn't feel like he was going to be able to grip the bat. I don't know how he's going to be for tomorrow, but that was the scenario that developed that forced him out of the game."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.