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Sandoval fortunate to avoid serious hand injury

@mi_guardado
June 18, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Pablo Sandoval required four stitches after sustaining a laceration on his right pinkie Monday night, but the Giants are confident the veteran infielder will be able to avoid the injured list. Sandoval suffered the injury after being spiked by Max Muncy in the fifth inning of the

LOS ANGELES -- Pablo Sandoval required four stitches after sustaining a laceration on his right pinkie Monday night, but the Giants are confident the veteran infielder will be able to avoid the injured list.

Sandoval suffered the injury after being spiked by Max Muncy in the fifth inning of the Giants' 3-2 win. The play proved to be one of the defensive highlights of the night, as shortstop Brandon Crawford had to range far to his left to field the grounder before spinning and throwing to Sandoval, who made an impressive stretch at first base to record the out. Muncy inadvertently stepped on Sandoval's hand while crossing the bag.

Sandoval, who was forced to exit the game the following inning, initially feared the injury would be more severe, but X-rays revealed no structural damage to his hand.

"I felt it was going to be worse," Sandoval said. "I thought it could be a break or dislocation. I just try to make the plays to help the team however I can. I'll sacrifice and do everything out there to make that play. It was worth it."

A switch-hitter, Sandoval said he thinks the injury will affect him more swinging right-handed than left-handed. He was unlikely to play the next two days, as the Dodgers were scheduled to start a pair of lefties in Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill.

"He's doing pretty good," manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday. "He's got his pinkie wrapped up, but he says he's going to go in there and try some swings. Right now, we're just putting him day to day. I think we got a break with nothing structurally damaged in there."

Giants watching Smith's workload

Bochy said he could stay away from closer Will Smith on Tuesday after using the 29-year-old left-hander in five of the last seven days. Smith is a perfect 19-for-19 in save opportunities this season while pitching to a 2.12 ERA over 29 2/3 innings.

"I'm going to try to give him a break when I can," Bochy said. "We'll see where we're at, but his usage has really picked up here in the last week and a half, so I'm going to talk to him and see where we're at. No question, we need to keep an eye on him. He feels great, though."

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.