Ian Desmond leaves game with hand injury

Ian Desmond. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

UPDATE, 10:46 p.m.: Ian Desmond received an x-ray on his right hand and results were negative, Nationals Manager Matt Williams said. Desmond was hit on the right thumb by an 88-mph fastball from Orioles right-handed reliever Darren O’Day in the top of the eighth inning on Thursday. He left the game in bottom of the inning when he airmailed a warm-up throw from shortstop.

Williams said the injury is simply a bruised thumb. “It doesn’t feel good but it’s not broken,” Desmond said.

While Williams suggested that Desmond may not play Friday in Philadelphia, the shortstop said he didn’t expect to miss any time. His right thumb was wrapped up as he spoke with reporters.

“It’s the meat part of the thumb,” Williams said. “It’s the biggest part of the hand so it’s probably a good thing. The good thing is there’s no fracture. He’ll be sore for a couple days I’m sure.”

Desmond struggled to grip the ball when he took grounders in between innings and fired a throw over Adam LaRoche at first base into the stands. He then walked straight towards the dugout, took off his hat and went for an x-ray.

It felt “kinda like you got hit in the funny bone but it’s not really that funny,” Desmond said.

UPDATE, 9:56 p.m.: Ian Desmond left the eighth inning of Thursday’s game with an apparent hand injury. He was hit by an 88-mph fastball on the right hand in the top half of the inning by right-handed reliever Darren O’Day.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams and a trainer visited Desmond at first base but he stayed in the game. Desmond took his position in the field in the bottom of the inning ended and attempted some throws. One throw sailed over Adam LaRoche at first and into the stands. Desmond stopped, walked toward the dugout, took off his cap and left the game.

Danny Espinosa, a natural shortstop who has mostly played second base in the majors, took over at shortstop. A long-term injury to Desmond would be a big blow to the Nationals. Desmond has a team-high 55 RBI and has started all but one of the team’s games.

More to come after the game.

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