Kang day to day with discomfort in left hand

Bucs question play at plate which injured third baseman

Kang day to day with discomfort in left hand

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang left Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Rockies after five innings due to discomfort in his left hand. He is day to day, the club announced.

An X-ray on Kang's injured left hand revealed no fractures, he said.

"It's good," he said in English.

Kang slid headfirst into home plate, which was covered by Rockies catcher Tony Wolters' leg, in the fourth inning. Kang broke for home from third base on a one-out ground ball by Matt Joyce.

Sliding outside of the plate, Kang reached out with his left hand to slap the dish, but instead hit Wolters' shinguard. Kang was called out on the play, and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle challenged whether Wolters had violated Rule 7.13, the home-plate collision rule.

"I couldn't really get my hands on it because the catcher was blocking the plate with his shinguard completely," Kang said through interpreter HK Kim.

After a one-minute, 45-second replay review, officials determined that Wolters did not violate Rule 7.13 and that Kang did not touch home plate before Wolters tagged him. The call was confirmed, and Kang was ruled out.

"It was a low throw and I knew it was going to be a close one, so I just got low with the ball, dropped the knee and gave him half the plate," said Wolters. "I felt the plate [was cut] in half. I knew I gave him half the plate."

Shortly after the game ended, Hurdle said he had not yet seen a replay of the play in question. Catcher Francisco Cervelli said he believed Wolters blocked Kang's path to the plate.

Kang hits double to start threat

"They've got to revisit this rule again and see what we can do," Cervelli said. "What we learn is to not block the plate before the ball is there, but [Wolters'] whole knee was blocking the plate. I don't know what's the rule anymore.

"If you've got the whole leg blocking the plate, I don't know where you're going to touch. I think they've got to do a better job with that."

Kang batted after that play, flying out to center in the fifth, but he left the game after that. David Freese replaced Kang at third base, batting cleanup, and immediately made a diving stop to snag Trevor Story's line drive to begin the sixth inning.

Freese makes diving catch

Kang missed the first month of the season while recovering from September surgery to repair a displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture and a torn meniscus in his left leg. He rejoined the Pirates on May 6 and hit two home runs in his season debut. In 45 plate appearances over 12 games since his return, Kang has hit .263/.333/.737 with five homers and 11 RBIs.

As Kang prepared to leave the Pirates clubhouse at PNC Park on Saturday night, his left hand wasn't wrapped, in a cast or on ice. Could he be ready to play as soon as Sunday?

"We'll revisit it [Sunday]," he said.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.