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Sprained finger could land Kiner-Falefa on IL

Catcher injures right middle finger sliding back to first base on pickoff play
@Sullivan_Ranger
June 7, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa could end up on the injured list with a sprained right middle finger. Kiner-Falefa injured it trying to get back to first base on a pickoff play after a fifth-inning single in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Orioles. “I don’t like the way it

ARLINGTON -- Rangers catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa could end up on the injured list with a sprained right middle finger. Kiner-Falefa injured it trying to get back to first base on a pickoff play after a fifth-inning single in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Orioles.

“I don’t like the way it looks to be honest with you,” manager Chris Woodward said. “If it’s a situation where he is going to be down, I don’t think we have any choice, not with the games we have coming up.”

The Rangers have four games in three days against the Athletics, beginning on Friday and including a day-night doubleheader on Saturday.

“I love Jeff Mathis, but he may die if I have to play him four straight games in three days,” Woodward said. “If Kiner can’t go tomorrow, we are probably going to have to [IL] him.”

The Rangers have veterans Adam Moore and Jett Bandy catching at Triple-A Nashville. Jose Trevino, the No. 25 prospect in the Rangers' system, is sidelined with a strained oblique muscle.

Wednesday’s game was delayed by rain for 13 minutes in the top of the fourth inning, and that may have played a factor in Kiner-Falefa’s injury after his single off Orioles pitcher David Hess.

“I think it was three pickoffs in a row in that weather,” Kiner-Falefa said. “The last one I slipped, and when I tried to get back, I was almost going to be out, so I was a little more aggressive with the hand and I jammed it right there.”

Kiner-Falefa stayed in the game for two more innings before being replaced by Mathis.

“Tried to make some throws between innings and I think I sailed two,” Kiner-Falefa said. “From that point of the game, I didn’t think it was a good idea that I was in there, so I told them Jeff was probably the better guy right now. We’ll see. I played two innings with it. I even hit with it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.