Tough sledding for Jays' Drabek

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

It turned out to be a day of survival for young right-hander Kyle Drabek.

Drabek has pitched about as well as could be expected, maybe better, in his first three outings of the season.

In his first start, he got a win over the Minnesota Twins. He allowed a hit and a run over seven innings. In his no-decision against the L.A. Angels, he gave up one run on six hits over six innings.

It was a rougher go against the Mariners on Wednesday. In 5 2/3 innings, Drabek allowed two runs on six hits. He also came up with his first pickoff of the season in the second inning when he erased his walk to Ryan Langerhans by catching him leaning toward second base.

But Drabek also walked four and was behind in the count on almost every batter.

Drabek went mainly with two pitches, a four-seam and two-seam fastball. That wasn’t the plan going in, but that’s the way it went.

“Kind of had to adjust. Having people on, you can’t do most of the stuff that you want to do,” he said of using so many fastballs. “Getting behind in the count and having people on, I had to go with something that was kind of comfortable at the moment.”

CREATIVE LINEUP

In Wednesday’s game, Blue Jays manager John Farrell did not have Adam Lind, Travis Snider and Aaron Hill in the starting lineup, which made for a different-looking lineup and batting order. Juan Rivera was back after a two-game absence and was in left field. He also was the cleanup hitter even though he entered the game hitting .133 (4-for-30) with all four hits being singles. He also has zero RBIs. Batting fifth was third baseman Jayson Nix. Taking over at first was Edwin Encarnacion, while John McDonald was at second in place of Hill.

Nix batting fifth?

“Not by default,” Farrell said. “He has been from the two hole to the nine hole.”

The reason was that Farrell didn’t want to move Encarnacion up from the seven slot where he has been productive of late (6-for-14 over the past three games).

ROSTER SWITCH

Following the game, the Jays sent LHP Brad Mills back to triple-A Las Vegas. The Blue Jays likely will call up another position player Friday prior to the Boston series.

ON THE FARM

On Tuesday in Las Vegas, 3B Brett Lawrie went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. In six games with the triple-A club, Lawrie is batting .417 (10-for-24) with three doubles, one triple and one home run.

FLORIDA REHAB

RHP Dustin McGowan, who is on the 60-day DL in his latest comeback attempt from shoulder surgery, faced live hitters at the Jays minor-league complex in Dunedin on Wednesday. “He looked relaxed and smooth,” Rick Langford, the Jays pitching rehab coordinator said. “He looked good to me.” Two of the hitters that McGowan faced were OF Dewayne Wise and OF Scott Podsednik. Both will play in an extended spring game on Thursday against a Yankees squad in Dunedin.


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