SEATTLE (AP) — Now the Los Angeles Angels are more concerned about Josh Hamilton's aching thumb than their inability to solve the Seattle Mariners early this season.
Hamilton left Tuesday night's 5-3 loss to the Mariners in the ninth inning after injuring his left thumb. The slugger was hurt two innings earlier when he slid headfirst into first base trying to beat out a grounder.
Hamilton remained in the game, but was struggling to throw the ball and grip the bat. Ian Stewart pinch-hit for Hamilton in the ninth and struck out when the Angels had the potential tying runs on base.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed, but it is swollen," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said.
Hamilton was expected to be examined further on Wednesday.
Scioscia didn't seem to have a problem with Hamilton sliding headfirst.
"It's part of his instinct to get to a base," the manager said. "Sometimes you just react to a situation. It's just competitive nature and Josh plays hard."
Albert Pujols and David Freese hit consecutive homers in the first inning but the latest Seattle nemesis for the Angels was Corey Hart, who homered twice and drove in four runs. He hit a three-run drive in the third inning off starter Hector Santiago, then added a solo shot in the seventh.
After not doing much the first week of the season, Hart was eager to start contributing.
"So many guys on this team have been chipping in and I haven't been one of them," he said. "It was nice to find contact tonight and be able to help out. I was getting kind of tired watching everyone else help out."
Santiago (0-2) was left lamenting the third inning because of one pitch. Seattle's rally started when he struck out Brad Miller but the ball bounced away from catcher Chris Iannetta. Miller reached first and Santiago pitched around Robinson Cano, walking him on four pitches.
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