Blue Jays manager juggles lineup
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency
TORONTO - With both Jose Bautista and Yunel Escobar missing, Blue Jays manager John Farrell had to get creative with his lineup. Jayson Nix moved in to play third base and batted second in Escobar’s spot with opening day starting third baseman Edwin Encarnacion at DH.
That looked like it might pay off big time when, in the sixth, Nix snapped a scoreless tie. He went down to get a pitch and sliced it into right field for an RBI single. Promptly stole second base, too. If not for a diving catch by Conor Jackson on Adam Lind’s line drive it could have swung the game in Toronto’s favour.
The other lineup moves had John McDonald, at shortstop, batting ninth with Juan Rivera replacing Bautista in right field.
THE UPS AND DOWNS
The Jays announced after Thursday’s game that Octavio Dotel has been recalled from his rehab assignment in Dunedin. He will join the club in Anaheim.
Casey Janssen was reassigned to triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster. Janssen pitched in three games this season without allowing a run, including retiring two Athletics on Thursday. “We’re at a point where we have a surplus of major league relievers,” Farrell said. “Casey is a major league pitcher. He’s got our complete trust.”
But, no job.
BITS AND PIECES
Aaron Hill almost slid out of his pants. He stole second with one out in the second inning but then had to repair to the dugout to replace his belt ... McDonald snuffed a potential rally going into the hole at shortstop to make a diving stop on Coco Crisp’s one-out grounder and forced Cliff Pennington at second ... Travis Snider threw out pinch-runner Ryan Sweeney going first to third on a single in the ninth. It was the second time on the home stand that Snider had thrown a runner out ... McDonald fouled off a third-strike sacrifice bunt attempt.