Michael Morse leaves game with right hand injury


(Alex Brandon/AP)

Morse had a right hand contusion, the Nationals announced. The team did not specify whether or not he had undergone an X-ray.

In his first at-bat, Morse tried to check his swing on an 84-mph changeup. As his hands moved toward the mound, the ball crushed the fingers of his right hand against the handle of his bat. Morse crouched in pain.

A trainer rushed to him and removed him immediately after checking him out. Morse trudged off the field, despondent as he tossed his helmet and walked down the tunnel to the visitor’s clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park.

Morse has always hit in his career, only injuries holding him back. He missed the first 50 games of this season with a strained lat muscle. When he returned, Morse’s presence in the middle of the Nationals’ order helped turn their offense from low-scoring to potent. They are 47-25 in games Morse has played this season.

Roger Bernadina took over for Morse in left field. If Morse misses significant time, the Nationals would likely replace him with a combination of Bernadina and Steve Lombardozzi, with Corey Brown the most likely candidate to take his place on the roster.

More to come when available.

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Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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