DENVER (AP) - Yunel Escobar expressed relief that his worst fear wasn't realized.
The Tampa Bay Rays shortstop thought for sure his left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from Colorado starter Jon Garland on Saturday night.
Turns out, it was just bruised and he could be back on the field in a few days.
``I'm happy and grateful it's not broken,'' Escobar said through an interpreter. ``It's pretty swollen right now. It feels kind of stiff, but it's OK.''
Escobar immediately grabbed his arm after being struck by an 86 mph fastball in the second inning, grimacing in pain when the trainer came out to examine him. Escobar then headed for the clubhouse and then to the hospital for precautionary X-rays.
``He's fine. There is no break,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``It's definitely going to be two or three days that he cannot play.''
Ryan Roberts trotted to first to serve as a pinch runner when Escobar left. Roberts remained in the game at second and Ben Zobrist moved to shortstop.
The 30-year-old Escobar was traded twice in a two-week span over the offseason, going from Toronto to Miami and then on to Tampa Bay. He is hitting .174 with two homers.
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