Bautista given club's monthly award

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:11 PM ET

Jose Bautista was the unanimous winner of the first Honda Blue Jay Player of the Month award for the 2011 season.

Bautista, who topped the major leagues in home runs last season with 54, picked up right where he left off, belting nine April homers to lead the American League. He also led the league in average (.366) and on-base percentage (.532).

On Friday, he set a Blue Jays record for walks in the month of April, with 28, which also leads the majors.

The monthly award is voted by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Honda will make a cash donation to the charity of Bautista's choice.

SNIDER'S VEGAS DEBUT

In his first game since his Thursday demotion to triple-A Las Vegas, Travis Snider went 4-for-4 with a double and a walk on Saturday as the 51s' designated hitter.

"I don't know what exact pitches he was squaring up, but more than anything it's good to see him go down and take the right attitude and the right approach," manager John Farrell said. "That's the one thing he can control.

"We made it very clear to Travis that (an evaluation) wasn't going to be just about numbers or performance-related. We want to see a more direct swing path and not come out and around pitches as he showed here. Those kinds of changes don't happen overnight. We haven't changed our view of him as far as what he'll be when he's a finished product: He has abilities that fit the style of play we want. We're looking forward to getting him back."

On Sunday, Snider went 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

SCOUT'S-EYE VIEW

Luis Rivera is prized for his abilities as a teacher but when the games begin, he changes into street clothes and heads for the scout seats behind home plate to serve as Farrell's "eye in the sky".

"He's had some good insights and some good feedback as he has observed the games from that perspective," said Farrell. "Sometimes you get so close to the forest that you don't see the trees at times and he has that separation that allows him to see things a little differently."

COOP'S FIRST HIT

David Cooper looped a single into right field for his first major-league base hit Sunday in his third game since being called up from Las Vegas.

"It was nice to get it out of the way," said Cooper. "Hopefully it will translate into more of those as we go along. This is the mecca of baseball so obviously having that first hit here is something I'll never forget."

Now, with three games under his belt, Cooper is starting to get his feet under him.

"It's not quite as nerve-wracking as it was my first game," he said. "Every time you jump a level there are adjustments you have to make but I'm feeling more comfortable."


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