SAN DIEGO — Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier was not happy to be hit on the left hand by a pitch and forced out of Tuesday’s Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
But he was relieved to know that his hand was only bruised and not broken by the 99-mph Enoli Paredes fastball in the sixth inning. He is considered day-to-day.
“My hand is feeling like I got hit by 99 miles per hour right in the wrist. But X-rays are negative, so I’ll take that,” Kiermaier said. “But some pain, some soreness going on. It is what it is, but we’ll try to get it as good as it can get, as soon as can be. That’s the plan, and we’ll go from there.”
Manager Kevin Cash sounded optimistic. “I think he’s going to be fine. X-rays were negative so that’s a huge positive for us. We’ll check on him and see how he feels through the night and then tomorrow."
Kiermaier was having quite a night, making a pair of sensational catches early in the game.
He went back and leaped at the centerfield wall in the first inning to rob Alex Bregman of at least extra bases — if not a home run — then made a diving catch of a Carlos Correa liner with two runners on to end the third
He was hit by the pitch in the middle of the Rays' five-run rally in the sixth. Kiermaier was in obvious pain and after several minutes with athletic trainer Mike Sandoval and Cash, he went to first base.
Paredes then hit Willy Adames with his next pitch to force in a run as the Rays eventually took a 5-1 lead.
Kiermaier left in the bottom of the sixth, with Manuel Margot sliding from right to center, with Hunter Renfroe taking over in rightfield.