Piscotty dealing with bruised left ankle

Piscotty dealing with bruised left ankle

ST. LOUIS -- Stephen Piscotty, who was at the center of two key extra-inning moments in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Royals, was walking gingerly around the Cardinals' clubhouse afterward as he nursed a bruised left ankle.

After fouling a pitch off that ankle in the sixth inning, Piscotty was struck in the same spot while sliding into a ball that Alcides Escobar hit down the right-field line in the 12th. Piscotty stayed in the game until its end, but then had X-rays taken on his ankle to rule out any potential fracture.

Those X-rays came back negative. His availability for Thursday's game will depend upon how much the swelling reduces overnight.

"It's painful, but there's nothing serious to it," Piscotty said. "There's definitely swelling going on here."

After going 6-for-32 on the team's recent road trip, Piscotty tallied a pair of hits to open the Cards' 10-game homestand. His biggest came in the 10th, when the right fielder launched a 427-foot homer to center that evened the game at 2-2. It was his first career hit in extra innings.

The game eventually extended into the 12th and brought Piscotty back into the spotlight, this time on defense. Piscotty gave chase when Escobar, with a runner on third and one out, lifted a Seth Maness sinker toward the right-field line. As he got closer, Piscotty reasoned that he didn't want to lay out for a diving attempt.

Whether the ball was fair or foul, Piscotty assumed that if he dove to catch it, Whit Merrifield would score easily from third. Instead, he chose to slide into it. Best-case scenario, he figured, is the ball would drop foul. Otherwise, he could at least block it.

"If I catch that ball, he tags and scores," Piscotty said. "I did that in the Minor Leagues, I remember, and it cost the team a game when I laid out for a ball. I honestly wanted it to drop. It was right on the line, and unfortunately for me and the team, it was fair."

A 48-second replay review of the hit confirmed it landed inside the foul line as it struck Piscotty.

"We have to look because it's a game-changer," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of using his challenge to get a second look. "It was close enough. Stephen thought it was going to be a foul ball, and we were going to get another life. Apparently, the [umpire] had it right."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.