Two up, one down as Blue Jays lose to Tigers

Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista sports a pink Mother's Day bat against the Tigers at the Rogers...

Blue Jays batter Jose Bautista sports a pink Mother's Day bat against the Tigers at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., May 8, 2011. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:40 PM ET

Aaron Hill is back.

Ditto for Jose Bautista.

Adam Lind?

Well, what does the Meatloaf song say -- Two Out of Three Ain't Bad.

While the top two mentioned players were back in the Blue Jays lineup Sunday from various ailments -- a hamstring issue that put Hill on the DL, a stiff neck that placed Bautista on the shelf for the past five games -- Lind was on the pine because of lower back pain.

It has been a recurring theme, more of a nightmare really for manager John Farrell as it seems that a day can't go by this season without one of his key cogs being on the sidelines or on the limp.

In fact, of the 34 games the Jays have played to date, they have had all of 13 where Hill, Bautista and Lind were in the lineup together.

In the bounce back Sunday against the Tigers and Saturday's no-hit effort from Justin Verlander, Bautista picked up the baton from the aching Lind as he hammered a two-run home run in his second at-bat of the game in the third inning.

You'd think the homer would have lifted the Jays after the whipping administered by Verlander. But you'd be wrong.

But no sooner had Bautista circled the bases then the air was out of their attack and over the final six innings the Jays managed just two singles.

Meanwhile, starter Jo-Jo Reyes remains cursed as the Tigers rallied to post a 5-2 victory, all the runs being charged to Reyes, who lasted seven-plus innings.

At least the no-hit question ended quickly this day. Batting second in the Jays lineup, Corey Patterson one-hopped the wall in right for a double in the first.

Other than Bautista's muscle-flexing -- his shot, No. 10 of the campaign, was a line drive off the facing of the second deck in left off a 3-2 pitch -- the Jays didn't receive much in the way of offence.

"It was good to see Bautista and Hill back in the lineup," manager John Farrell said. "Other than that (Bautista's homer), we weren't able to string many quality at-bats together and really didn't have many opportunities to bunch some hits together or try to generate much offence."

Bautista agreed.

"The bottom line is we didn't get many runners on base and it's hard to score when you don't get runners on base," he said.

It doesn't help the Jays much when Farrell has been forced to write out 30 different lineups in 34 games either.

"There are things we're going to have to overcome and injuries are one of them," Bautista said. "Our pitchers have done a good job but we have to pick it up on offence."

Still, on the mound Reyes didn't help himself either and the left-hander remains winless in his last 25 starts dating back to June 13 of 2008, an incredible streak when you think about it.

"I thought Jo-Jo threw the ball okay," was how Farrell phrased it. "It's a long streak. I'm sure he's aware of it."

Reyes seems to be pitching just poorly enough to lose instead of good enough to win and you have to wonder about his confidence given the distance between wins.

"It's the inconsistencies with consistent location. When Jo-Jo's run into issues, that's what it stems from," Farrell said. "On a day when runs are at a premium, mistakes show up or the mislocated pitches show up more glaringly."

High on hope

Lind admitted prior to the game that he has had discomfort in his back for a few days but it reached the point in Saturday's game where he had to come out after the sixth inning.

"I really don't know what happened, it just got sore Friday and I tried to play yesterday (Saturday) and I aggravated it," Lind said. He added that there wasn't one thing that set it off and he has undergone all sorts of treatment since including acupuncture, stretching, massage, rubbing, hot tubs, strength training, the whole kit and kaboodle.

Lind said the discomfort affected his swing on Saturday.

"It just got worse throughout the game. The first at-bat it wasn't so bad but the next at-bat I couldn't swing the way I wanted to swing," Lind said.

The back issue couldn't come at a worse time. Lind has been red hot at the plate over his past 15 games, the first baseman has gone 24-for-59 (.407) with six homers and 18 RBIs and has carried the team on his back.

The hope is that he will be able to return to the lineup in Monday's finale against the Tigers and that the back pain doesn't mess up his mechanics at the plate.

"I don't want to lose my rhythm and timing at the plate, just take a day off, get healthy and get back at it tomorrow night," Lind said. "I'm better than I was yesterday and hopefully tomorrow I'll be pain free."

It's a situation that Farrell can only dream about.

"It will be a welcome sight when we have our regulars back on the field each and every day," he said.


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