WASHINGTON -- Pitching didn't cause Astros ace Roy Oswalt too much trouble Tuesday. But hitting was another story.
Oswalt got a stinger in his right hand while batting in the fifth and suffered a bone bruise on his index finger. The injury forced him to come out of the game in the top of the sixth, holding a 5-2 lead. The Houston bullpen couldn't hold it, and the game was eventually suspended in the bottom of the 11th after a long rain delay, tied at 10.
Oswalt laid down a sacrifice bunt on the first pitch of the fateful at-bat, and that's apparently where the problem occurred.
"I got a stinger in my finger, and when I went back out there and tried to throw a few breaking balls, and [I] couldn't throw them," Oswalt said. "I tried to get through the inning throwing a lot of fastballs, but [it didn't work]."
Oswalt had a bandage on the finger while standing at his locker after the game was suspended.
"I'm hoping two or three days, it should feel better," Oswalt said. "I might skip my bullpen [session], let it calm down some and see how I feel going into this weekend."
Oswalt had little trouble heading into the sixth. But with Cristian Guzman on first and one out, Oswalt had to have his finger looked at by the Astros' trainer.
The injury delay came during an at-bat by Nick Johnson. Oswalt threw several practice pitches and finished the at-bat by walking Johnson.
Houston manager Cecil Cooper promptly pulled Oswalt after the free pass.
Oswalt has pitched well this season but came into his start with an 0-2 record. Cooper said before the game that he was glad to have his ace on the hill as the Astros' bullpen had gotten a lot of work in recent days. They wound up getting a lot more.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.