Escobar was in manager Ned Yost's original lineup after an encouraging warmup session three hours before the game.
"Escy's feeling better, bruised on his index finger but ... he came out and played catch and felt OK," Yost said before the game.
An hour later, Escobar was out -- though he may be available in a pinch-hit role -- leaving Kansas City down a pair of starters for Monday's game between the teams with best records in the American League.
Jarrod Dyson took over the leadoff spot on Monday in Escobar's absence, while Christian Colon filled in at shortstop. Escobar sustained the injury during Sunday's game when a hard ground ball smashed into the finger, leaving one half of the nail completely bruised and dark.
Escobar has a six-game hitting streak in tow, and he's lifted his batting average by nearly 30 points during the last two weeks alone. The injury is not expected to be a lingering issue, and the shortstop could easily return for the final two games in Houston.