Torii Hunter doesn't wear an elbow guard.

"But," he said Wednesday night, "I'm thinking about it."

No, Hunter's humor doesn't take a holiday — not even after being drilled in the left elbow late in Wednesday night's 5-3 loss to the Pirates.

Pirates reliever Bryan Morris, just on for A.J. Burnett, unleashed an inside fastball that caught Hunter flush leading off the seventh inning. He immediately doubled over and, after a lengthy chat with trainer Kevin Rand, stayed in.

But not for long.

Avisail Garcia replaced him in right field the next half-inning, after manager Jim Leyland was convinced Hunter simply wasn't right on the bases.

"He was shaken up a bit," Leyland said. "He just got out of sorts."

Hunter admitted he was in so much pain, he even got dizzy.

Hunter had X-rays, which were negative. The diagnosis is a contusion, and his status is day-to-day. He'll keep icing it and hopes to play in the series final tonight.

"I'm gonna battle to try to get out there," he said. "You know me. I play no matter what."

Still, the 17-year veteran said he's rarely been hit this hard by a pitch.

"It ain't funny," Hunter deadpanned after being asked if the pitch caught him in the funny bone. "It ain't a funny-bone thing. I haven't been hit like this in years. It's painful."