Ninth-inning pitch breaks Infante's left hand

Ninth-inning pitch breaks Infante's left hand

Ninth-inning pitch breaks Infante's left hand
DETROIT -- The Tigers won't have to figure out how they would've gone on without Omar Infante. No sooner had they realized Infante had suffered a season-ending left hand injury than their season was over.

Infante suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal and will spend the next four to six weeks with a cast on his left wrist and hand, but he was told he won't need surgery.

World Series

"It's the third time it happened," Infante said, "but it hit me in a different spot. I'll have to see the hand specialist tomorrow, and I'll have another [opinion]."

Infante had similar injuries before the 2008 season and in the middle of the 2009 season, both as a member of the Braves. Each of those injuries required surgery, the infielder said. Avoiding surgery this time would be a relief for Infante, especially if he can come back at full strength in Spring Training and keep his hold on the second-base job in Detroit.

Infante was one of the Tigers' few good hitters in the World Series, going 5-for-15, but he was stranded on the basepaths each time. He continued that in Game 4 with a leadoff single in the fifth inning, then stepped up in the ninth with two outs against Santiago Casilla.

With a 2-1 count, Infante caught a 94-mph fastball that rode in on his hands, leaving him little time to react. He knew immediately it was bad.

"The X-rays showed it's cracked," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He was obviously in a lot of pain. Obviously when you get hit with one like that, plus the cold weather, that's a tough take. But he's got a long time to recuperate, obviously."