--RF Jose Bautista had an MRI on his stiff neck that showed only spasms and no other damage, but he is expected to miss the three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Bautista left Sunday's 5-2 loss at New York for a pinch runner in the seventh inning because of the tightness in his neck, which hampered his running and throwing but not his hitting.
Manager John Farrell said Bautista is expected to return sometime this weekend.
Bautista leads the AL in batting average (.357), on-base percentage (.530), slugging percentage (.762), OPS (1.292), home runs (nine), walks (30), runs (25) and times on base (61). Over his past 12 games, he is batting .429 (15-for-35) with six homers and 10 RBI.
--2B Aaron Hill (hamstring), who has been working out at the club's minor league facility in Dunedin, Fla., was at the Blue Jays' clubhouse Tuesday afternoon in St. Petersburg. He said he expects to play three rehab games for Class A Dunedin this weekend, and he hopes to be reinstated from the disabled list Monday. Hill injured his hamstring April 19 while stealing his team-leading sixth base. Manager John Farrell said that with Hill's injury history, he might have to ask Hill temper the running game while not taking away his aggressiveness. "We have to be smart about it," Farrell said. "There's a pretty clear history of some quad and hamstring issues, and we have to factor that in."
--INF Jayson Nix (bruised left knee) has been working out in Dunedin, Fla., and he said he is about a week away from playing in a minor league game. He took groundballs Tuesday for the second day in a row. He was injured in a collision at second base in Toronto on April 22 when Tampa Bay's Sean Rodriguez slid into him breaking up a double play. "There's still some soreness in there," Nix said. "It's gradually getting better, though. I jogged today and took groundballs, and it felt better." Nix did not criticize Rodriguez's slide. "I think for the most part, it was a good slide," Nix said. "The throw, and the play in general, I probably shouldn't have tried to turn it, but yeah, I think it was a clean play."
--RHP Jon Rauch allowed two hits in the ninth inning, including B.J. Upton's game-ending home run in Tampa Bay's 3-2 win Tuesday. That ended a string of 10 2/3 hitless innings by Toronto's bullpen. It was the first blown save for Rauch in six chances. The bullpen had allowed two earned runs in its previous 24 innings, a span of seven games, including the seventh and eighth innings Tuesday.
--1B Adam Lind extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. He is 14-for-31 with four home runs and 12 RBI in the first eight games of the Jays' 10-game road trip.
--LHP Jo-Jo Reyes appears ready to keep his spot in the rotation after his best start of the season Tuesday. He did not figure in the decision when B.J. Upton hit a two-run homer in the ninth to give the Rays a 3-2 victory. In six innings, Reyes allowed four hits, one walk and one run while striking out four. He is winless in his past 24 major league starts going back to 2008, the longest drought since Matt Young's string of 27 winless starts for the Mets and Cubs over the 1992-94 seasons.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 -- Team-leading number of doubles for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, including two in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"You would like to get the 'W,' but as long as you keep your team in the game, that's the most important thing. The wins will come as long as I keep up my end of the deal of throwing quality starts." -- LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, whose string of winless starts went to 24 despite allowing one run in six innings against the Rays. He saw the win slip away on B.J. Upton's ninth-inning, two-run homer against RHP Jon Rauch.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.