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Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Victorino plans to play Game 6

ESPN.com news services

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino says his hand is fine, despite being hit by a pitch Monday during Game 5, and he expects to play in Game 6 of the World Series against the New York Yankees Wednesday night.

"Two thumbs up, everybody," he told reporters, illustrating the point with his own thumbs. "That's all you need to know."

Victorino put a scare into the Phillies after he was hit on the right index finger by an A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning. He shook his head and stayed in the game, scoring on Chase Utley's three-run homer.

Though X-rays were negative, the Phillies' center fielder was clearly in discomfort the rest of the way in Philadelphia's 8-6 Game 5 win. He gingerly removed his batting gloves after each at-bat, and had trouble gripping the bat and throwing the ball because his finger was swollen.

He grimaced and shook his wrist after popping out in the second inning.

"When I first got hit, I said, 'Oh no, this doesn't feel right,' " Victorino said. "I went in and threw and it felt fine. I'm happy for that."

Shane Victorino
Shane Victorino was in pain after being hit on the hand by an A.J. Burnett pitch, but says he expects to play in Game 6.

Victorino went 0-for-3 and was replaced in the eighth inning by Ben Francisco.

Victorino didn't know he was replaced until he saw Francisco in center. Victorino pleaded with manager Charlie Manuel to leave him in the game and move Francisco to left field to replace the slower Raul Ibanez. Manuel shook his head no.

"I wanted to play," Victorino said. "There was some miscommunication, but other than that, everything was fine."

Victorino said he had no issues with Burnett. "A.J. apologized when I got to first, so it wasn't retaliation, I can tell you that," he said.

It was an eventful day for the "Flyin' Hawaiian," who earlier Monday blasted Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa for suggesting in a radio interview that the Phillies might be stealing signs.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Bowa -- a former Phillies manager -- said in an interview with radio station 97.5 The Fanatic that he'd heard rumors about the team using video equipment in center field to spot the opposing catcher's signs.

"I've had three people come up to me and say, 'Watch center field. They got a camera,' " Bowa said, according to the report. "Some guy stands up by the fence. If their arm's up, it's a breaking ball. I watched. I didn't see it. But other teams swear by it. So I'm sure the Yankees' personnel said, 'Hey, heads up, these guys like to give signs at second.' "

Victorino was not amused.

"For Bowa to come out and say something like that if he doesn't know what he's talking about, if he doesn't have cold, hard facts he shouldn't say something like that," Victorino said before Game 5, according to the Daily News.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.