Hamilton exits game after plunking

Hamilton exits game after plunking

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, for the second time this Spring Training, is dealing with another painful bruise.

This one is on his left hand, just below his pinkie finger.

Hamilton was diagnosed with a bruise on his left hand after getting hit by a pitch Monday night in a Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants. Preliminary X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

"Somebody is after me," said Hamilton, who had to deal with a bruised left shoulder earlier this spring. "Watch out, boys, don't stand too close to me."

Hamilton was hit by Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in the third inning and was immediately replaced by pinch-runner Brandon Boggs.

The pitch was a fastball, the second in a row from Bumgarner. Hamilton had a good cut against the first one and was expecting a slider away. Instead he got the fastball inside.

"What was he thinking?" Hamilton said jokingly.

"It hit me in the meaty part of the hand," Hamilton said. "It hurt a lot but X-rays were negative. I'll ice it a bunch tonight and see how it feels tomorrow."

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The Rangers are playing the Cubs in Mesa on Tuesday. Hamilton was not scheduled to make that trip anyway. He doesn't think this injury is serious but he also doesn't want to push it with Opening Day still three weeks away.

"I'm ready to roll but I want to be smart about it," Hamilton said. "We've talked about being smart and playing smart. Spring Training doesn't mean anything so I don't want to take a chance."

Hamilton suffered a bruised left shoulder during the first full-squad workout and missed the first weekend of games for the Cactus League. But he was 8-for-17 with one home run going into Monday's game against the Giants. He grounded out in his first at-bat against Bumgarner.

"I'm not going to let this affect the way I feel or the way I'm approaching stuff," Hamilton said. "I was having good at-bats."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.