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CarGo battling through nagging injuries

CLEVELAND -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss expressed admiration for how left fielder Carlos Gonzalez has played through nagging injuries this season.

Weiss cited Gonzalez's performance Friday night in a 6-2 loss to the Indians. After missing a game with his latest bump, a bruised right calf, Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and kept the score close late with a diving catch in left-center.

Tendinitis in his left knee and on-and-off swelling in his left index finger have been bothersome. Neither injury can be helped with medical intervention. There are days when the injuries force Gonzalez off the field, but a stint on the disabled list will not guarantee the pain won't show up in the future. Resting him more than normal is problematic, since the best way to turn hot is to play consistently.

Gonzalez entered Sunday batting .258 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs -- not the average that the Rockies need from a two-time All-Star, but so far it's the best he can manage through injuries.

"You always admire that about a player that goes out there," Weiss said. "You want to make sure it's within reason. If a guy's really hurt, it doesn't make sense to run him out there.

"But the other night, down late in the game, he dives for that ball in the gap, makes a catch against the wall. Those are good signs that he's competing every day. The other night, he hit a home run here. That's what he can do, change the game with one swing. It's tough to take him out of the lineup."

Gonzalez's ability to make big contributions is why Weiss is riding out his difficulties.

"He's a supremely talented player, and at some point he's going to take off," Weiss said.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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