Injured finger doesn’t hurt Castellanos at the plate

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is greeted at the plate after his three-run homer Wednesday.

Rick Osentoski/Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT — Sometimes there’s a silver lining even when you get hurt.

Tigers rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos missed Tuesday night’s 11-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox after he suffered a contusion on his right index finger.

Wednesday, Castellanos was back in the lineup looking no worse for the wear.

In his first at-bat, Castellanos snapped an 0-for-8 skid with a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Hector Noesi.

"Little blessings," Castellanos said. "Earlier I’ve been using a lot of top hand, kind of rolling over pitches that I should stay through. Well, now with my finger being hurt on my top hand, I have to use a lot more bottom hand and it helped me out (Wednesday night) because I really didn’t try to do too much."

It was Castellanos’ first home run since June 27 at Houston.

Castellanos said he could have played Tuesday if he had been the designated hitter because the finger contusion is more of a problem throwing than hitting.

"Hitting is easier than throwing because I need both of my fingers, including the one that I hurt," Castellanos said. "I took a lot of ground balls and I threw a lot before the game so I knew that I was ready."

Castellanos also had an RBI single with two out in the seventh to make the final score 7-2.

The four RBI are a career high.

"I was kind of upset with myself after the second at-bat with bases loaded, less than one out," Castellanos said. "In those situations, it’s your job as a hitter to get that run in. So I kind of looked at it as the game went on, ‘All right, here’s my chance to redeem myself right here, two outs with a guy on.’ And I was able to get him in. It meant a lot."

Torii Hunter, who scored on Castellanos’ first-inning home run and seventh-inning single, said Castellanos is always working to get better.

"He came through with a big hit, big three-run shot and got another big hit with two outs," Hunter said. "That young guy, he gets it done. You talk to him and if you see some kind of flaw, you tell him what it is, he’s gonna work on it and make it better.

"Nick is growing up."

Castellanos is now batting .267 with seven home runs and 41 RBI.

Although getting hurt wasn’t ideal, Castellanos said he might have to look for another bad-hop grounder if the situation calls for it.

"If I struggle, I might have to do that," Castellanos said.