Shane Victorino leaves Phillies to have thumb examined

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Injuries continue to pile up for the Phillies, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that center fielder Shane Victorino has left the team in Florida and traveled back to Philadelphia to have his thumb examined by a hand specialist.

Victorino injured his thumb Sunday and missed yesterday’s game while wearing a protective sleeve, with Michael Martinez filling in for him in a 1-0 victory.

Zolecki writes that the current plan is for Victorino to rejoin the Phillies in time for tomorrow night’s game in Florida, but obviously that will depend on what the specialist determines today and in the meantime they’ve added John Mayberry Jr. to the roster as an extra outfielder.

Philadelphia’s disabled list is already packed with pitchers Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and Roy Oswalt, plus third baseman Placido Polanco has been struggling to play through back problems for two months now, but losing Victorino would really hurt. He leads the team in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), OPS (.900), and runs (53) in addition to his usual defensive value in what has been the best season of his career so far.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.