Giancarlo Stanton thought for an instant his wrist was broken. That was Saturday in the excruciating seconds after a Trevor Williams pitch plunked him at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The X-rays were negative, though. The diagnosis was a bruise. And the oft-injured Stanton lived to play another day, returning to the lineup on Tuesday with a bang.
With one mighty cut, Stanton proved his bruised right wrist was of no concern, bashing a towering home run in the Marlins’ 8-1 victory over Oakland. It was his 17th home run.
Standing at his locker afterward, the area below Stanton’s wrist was purple when he showed it to reporters.
“It’s better hitting than throwing, actually,” Stanton said of the lingering soreness. “It’s just swelling. That’s just pain management. I know if I’m not going to do any further damage, pain is just what you’ve got to deal with.”
Stanton has been through enough injuries over the years that few understand pain more than he does. And a bruised wrist was minor compared to some of the other issues he’s had to contend with. He spent Monday’s off day applying ice and compression to speed the healing.
But he wasn’t the only Marlin to contribute Tuesday.
The Marlins also received a solo homer from Marcell Ozuna (his 16th) and an impressive showing by Jose Urena, outside of a bases-loaded balk due to a leg twitch that cost him his only run.
The Marlins have gone 14-8 since closing out an atrocious — and perhaps irreparable — 4-19 stretch in May. They’re still a good ways back in the standings and seven games below .500.
But what they have going for them in the make-or-break run up to the July 31 trade deadline is a healthy Stanton, not to mention a blistering-hot Ozuna and a trio of infielders who are expected to make their way back from the disabled list over the coming five to 10 days.
They’ll take good pitching whenever they can get it, and Urena provided it on Tuesday. Save for his bases-loaded balk, which came with two outs and pitcher Jharel Cotton standing in the box for the first time in his big-league career, Urena was sharp.
After the run-scoring balk, Urena retired 14 straight before giving way to the bullpen in the seventh.
Tyler Moore went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI, Ozuna went 3 for 3, including an opposite-field homer off the upper deck facing in right-center, and the Marlins won the opener of a two-game set with the A’s.
But it was Stanton’s home run in the fifth that stood out.
It was about as high as any homer he’s ever hit, appearing for just an instant as if it might glance off the rafters inside Marlins Park.
When it came down, it was only 10 feet or so past the wall.
“It was kind of pooping out at the end,” Stanton said. “If the windows had been open, (the breeze) might have pushed it back.”