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Vlad Jr. day-to-day with left hand contusion

Third baseman struck by 96 mph fastball in 1st inning vs. Astros
@alysonfooter
June 14, 2019

HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays' 15-2 loss to the Astros on Friday night might pale in comparison to what else they lost during this game, depending on how much time, if any, they'll have to be without their up-and-coming star third baseman. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was hit on the left

HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays' 15-2 loss to the Astros on Friday night might pale in comparison to what else they lost during this game, depending on how much time, if any, they'll have to be without their up-and-coming star third baseman.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was hit on the left hand by a 96 mph fastball thrown by Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. X-rays on the hand were negative -- that's the good news -- and the team called the injury a left hand contusion. Now they will have to wait to see how quickly Guerrero recovers.

According to a Blue Jays official, Guerrero left the ballpark after the game without needing his hand to be wrapped.

Box score

“He'll be day to day,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We'll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Guerrero stayed in the game after the plunking, taking his base after a quick exam by Montoyo and the team's athletic trainer. But when the Blue Jays took the field on defense in the second inning, Guerrero was replaced by third baseman Eric Sogard, who remained there the rest of the game.

Montoyo said Guerrero’s hand had swollen up a little bit, prompting the decision to remove him.

“We decided to take him out and get x-rays,” Montoyo said.

Losing Guerrero for any stretch of time will not affect anything in terms of a division race -- at 25-44, the Jays aren't gunning for a postseason berth this year. But losing Guerrero, who opened the 2019 season as one of the most celebrated Minor League prospects in history, would be a blow to a team enjoying watching several young prospects develop at the Major League level.

At the top of that list is Guerrero, who was hitting .375 with two doubles and three RBIs in the first three games of the Jays' road trip.

Entering Friday’s game, Guerrero's 40 hits and 15 extra-base hits since joining the Blue Jays on April 26 were the most on the team during that stretch. He was the American League Player of the Week for May 13-19, and he is a leading contender to capture American League Rookie of the Year honors.

The Jays’ best hope is for the third baseman to require a short recovery period.

“When anybody gets hit in the hand there's always a chance something could get broken,” Montoya said. “But he's fine. He'll be alright.”

Biggio records first double
Cavan Biggio wasn’t there for all of his dad’s 668 doubles, but he watched plenty of them as a kid growing up in Houston, while his pops put together a Hall of Fame career that began seven years before Cavan was born and ended when he was 12.

So maybe it was only fitting that Cavan Biggio logged his first career double Friday, in his first appearance as a Major Leaguer in the ballpark where he grew up rooting for his dad.

Biggio, who struck out in his first two at-bats vs. Cole, sent a double in the fifth inning to the deepest part of center field, just to the right of the 409-foot sign.

“I'm just glad Tal's Hill isn't there anymore,” he joked, referring to the hill that used to occupy space in a center field that spanned 436 feet at its deepest point. “[Jake Marisnick] probably catches it.”

The crowd at Minute Maid Park gave Biggio an ovation after the hit, which he appreciated.

“I think it just goes to show the amount of respect the name Biggio holds in this stadium,” Cavan said. “It's cool for me, but I think it's an even better tribute to my father and what he did here.”

Sanchez struggles
Aaron Sanchez had an outing he’d soon like to forget, but both he and his manager said his ineffectiveness against the Astros had nothing to do with finger injuries that have plagued him in the past.

Sanchez yielded eight runs over three innings, walking three and striking out four.

“He didn't have his command,” Montoyo said. “When you play a good team, you kind of pay the price. He was wild today with his pitches.”

Sanchez was hoping he would get back on track after a rough first inning, when he allowed three runs and walked two batters. It just didn’t happen.

“For me, it was just, stick with it,” he said. “There [have been] games like that before where I start early and I don't really have it. Then I end up going five or six. Just one of those days. I didn't have it.”

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.