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Desmond plays it safe after leg tightens up

Rockies' first baseman missed time recently with calf strain
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ST. LOUIS -- Hoping to prevent the tightness in his right calf from becoming a true recurrence of an injury that cost him nine games this month, Ian Desmond left after three innings of the Rockies' 3-2 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"I went to cover the bag and just felt it a little bit," Desmond said. "I tried to keep going, but we've got some important games coming up, so I wanted to be smart, make a good decision."

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ST. LOUIS -- Hoping to prevent the tightness in his right calf from becoming a true recurrence of an injury that cost him nine games this month, Ian Desmond left after three innings of the Rockies' 3-2 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"I went to cover the bag and just felt it a little bit," Desmond said. "I tried to keep going, but we've got some important games coming up, so I wanted to be smart, make a good decision."

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Rockies manager Bud Black, who replaced Desmond at first base with Mark Reynolds, said the extent of the injury was unclear.

Tweet from @MLBNetwork: Bud Black explains why @IDesmond20 has been removed from tonight's #MLBNShowcase between the @Rockies and @Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/BwfIM8qP2v

"We'll see how he is tomorrow, but the calf tightened up and we're not sure if it's a calf strain or it just tightened up," Black said. "This could turn into something bigger if he continued."

Desmond, 31, played for the Nationals from 2009-15 and the Rangers last season, and had never been placed on the disabled list before signing his five-year, $70 million contract with the Rockies. But he missed the first 25 games with a fractured left hand suffered in Spring Training, and later had the calf problem.

Desmond struck out in his only at-bat Tuesday against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and is hitting .285 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 65 games.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Ian Desmond