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Castellanos stunned after taking shot to face

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — As it turns out, the ring finger on his throwing hand has a better chance of keeping Nick Castellanos out of the lineup Monday than the hard shot to his left cheekbone that nearly KO'd him on Sunday.

"Yeah, it's actually going to be probably more how my finger feels than my face," he said after the Tigers' 9-3 loss to the Orioles.

Here's what happened: Castellanos wasn't even in the starting lineup Sunday. He entered after Ian Kinsler was ejected in the third inning. His day wouldn't last two full innings.

Adam Jones hit a smash to third base leading off the fifth inning that bounced up and deflected first off Castellanos' right hand and then into the side of his face. He went down in a heap.

"I guess it kind of hit the dirt and went straight up," he said. "It's kind of a blur. The only thing I remember is getting down for the ground ball and then like — oh, crap — trying to put my hand up. I remember it hitting my hand and then off my face."

X-rays were negative.

"They started doing the light test and whatnot in front of me," he said. "I was kind of like, man, my vision is, I guess not blurry, but spotty. Then he goes, 'Shut your right eye,' so I did and it was pretty spotty.

"Once I kind of got out of the sun and I kind of got into a darker room it started going away. I'm fine now."

His face was still swollen after the game.

"The report was that he had a little blurriness in his left eye, but that vision returned in short order," manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's just a matter of whether there's any inflammation that would affect his vision tomorrow."

The finger may be more problematic.

"I guess the word that the trainers used was hyperextended," Castellanos said.

Stretch dynamics

It was a tell-tale sign in the six-run fourth inning, that Justin Verlander opted to pitch from the windup and not the stretch with the bases loaded and nobody out.

Normally, a pitcher will work from the stretch to hold the runners at first and second close and to keep a double-play opportunity in order.

But Verlander admitted afterward, he is still not comfortable working from the stretch.

"It was pretty similar to a couple of starts ago, Toronto," he said. "Things were going pretty good in the windup, then I got into the stretch and got a little quick again. I wasn't able to execute as well as I would have liked."

When he gets quick in his delivery, he loses command.

"I don't think there's any doubt I am doing everything I can possibly do," he said. "It's just one inning here, one inning there. In most starts, it's just one inning where I run into trouble and can't find my way out of it. It all boils down to a simple fix — not be so quick out of the stretch."

Around the horn

Yoenis Cespedes left the game after legging out an infield single in the seventh. Ausmus said he felt a tightness in his quad but didn't think it was anything serious.

… Jose Iglesias had four hits Sunday and scored all three Tigers runs.

… Victor Martinez was asked if the looming trade deadline (July 31) was weighing on players' minds. "You say the (front) office; that's their job," he said. "Our job, we have too much to worry about than worry about it what they're going to do."

Twitter @cmccosky