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Tigers: Maybin has hand contusion, MRI set for Tuesday

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers' Cameron Maybin is in pain after re-injuring his thumb attempting to steal second on what ended up being ball four to Tigers Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning.

Detroit — Cameron Maybin was already playing through pain and discomfort because of a sprained left thumb that forced him to miss 18 days this month.

He winced noticeably after fouling off a pitch in the fifth inning Monday. But he singled on the next pitch and all seemed well.

But on a 3-1 pitch to Ian Kinsler, Maybin bolted for second base, sliding head first, leading with his left hand. Kinsler walked, making the play at second irrelevant, except that Maybin was clutching his left hand in obvious pain.

“From what I was told, (second baseman Tyler Saladino’s) knee came down on top of his thumb,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “It seemed to be a little behind where the injury was. It doesn’t seem to be where the ligament was; more behind, in the back of the hand.”

X-rays were negative and the Tigers are calling it a contusion. But Ausmus said an MRI is scheduled for Tuesday, just to be sure.

“The first one hurts — with any injury. Physically, it hurts,” Ian Kinsler said. “The second one in the same spot is always more painful. Hopefully there’s not more damage, hopefully we can get him back in the lineup soon. The sooner, the better.

“He’s important to our team. He’s important to the middle of the diamond and to getting things going on this team.”

Running on a 3-1 pitch, Maybin went on his own on a straight steal — trying, as he always does, to ignite a listless offense. On a straight steal, runners often will not peek in to see the result of the pitch.

Certainly if Maybin could get a do-over, he’d not slide head first. But that slide was instinctual.

“Injury or not, it’s always dangerous when you slide headfirst, but that’s the way he plays the game,” Ausmus said. “That’s his natural instinct when he steals.”

Twitter.com: @cmccosky