Richmond's Brayan Pena hit what seemed to be a routine ground ball to shortstop in the fifth inning of Friday night's Mud Hens game. But the grounder proved to be anything but routine for Ramon Santiago.
"I was waiting for the ball, but it gave me a tough hop," Santiago said before last night's game against Charlotte. "The ball hit me in the finger, and I felt my finger turn."
The ball hit Santiago's right ring finger and bounced away for an error. It also caused swelling of the joint at the top of the finger, as well as blood around the top of the fingernail that was visible 24 hours later.
"I knew right away something was wrong," Santiago said. "But I stayed in the game."
Not only did Santiago stay in the game, he was the pivot man on a double-play grounder hit by the next Richmond batter. He also batted twice more, singling in the eighth inning.
Santiago was not in the lineup last night. He could not bend the upper joint on the swollen finger. The Mud Hens hope that ice and rest will allow Santiago to return to the lineup today.
Santiago was available for pinch-running duties, according to manager Mike Rojas.
BIG NUMBERS: Last night's crowd of 10,300 was the Mud Hens' 21st sellout this season and the 161st in the six-year history of Fifth Third Field.
With last night's full house - the Hens' fourth consecutive home sellout and the 14th in the last 19 home games - the team's single-season attendance total moved to 370,365 in 47 dates.
The Hens are taking aim on last year's record-setting attendance of 569,380 in 70 games. With an average crowd of 7,880 per game, this year's team is ahead of this point last season, when the team played before an average crowd of 7,570.
Toledo's average attendance of 7,880 this year ranks third in the 14-team International League and is the ninth-best total in all of minor-league baseball.
THREE-DOT DATA: David Espinosa was ejected after being called out on strikes to lead off the ninth, and Rojas was ejected after arguing Espinosa's ejection. Bobb Vergiels served as the public address announcer for last night's game. Vergiels formerly was the P.A. voice of the Mud Hens before taking the public address job at Detroit's Comerica Park in 2004. Henry Mateo and Jack Hannahan saw six-game hit streaks end last night. With last night's error by Chris Shelton the Mud Hens have committed a miscue in five straight games and nine of their last 10. Before that Toledo had gone errorless in nine of their previous 10 contests. The Hens still lead the IL with a .983 fielding percentage.
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