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Hunter says bruised hand 'not that bad'

BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter was confident he had avoided any serious injury to his right hand on Monday morning, showing reporters the slightly swollen palm a night removed from barehanding a hard hit ball from Toronto's Jose Bautista.

"It's fine," said Hunter, who had an initial X-ray on Sunday night come back negative. "Kind of like taking one off the shin, I guess. It's not that bad at all. It's going to be. Got me in the meat of it. But it'll be all right, hopefully. Maybe I'll get a day off today. We'll see. I'll go play catch, maybe."

A second X-ray done Monday was also negative.

"There's different levels of X-rays, so we are going to do the Level 2," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Monday's results were known. "He feels good, all things considered. So I think we dodged an injury, not necessarily the ball."

Hunter wasn't available on Monday and was shooting to be an active pitcher again for Tuesday night's game against the Nationals. The 26-year-old Hunter, who allowed one run on four hits over 1 1/3 innings Sunday, worked out of a bases-loaded jam to end the seventh inning and has been on an impressive run. Since April 12, Hunter is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA in 15 outings, striking out 17 and walking five.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for
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