Bourn to run there?
By Ken Fidlin, Toronto Sun
Blue Jays manager John Farrell was a bit perplexed by third base umpire Brian Gorman’s unwillingness to call runner’s interference on a play in the first inning that helped Houston to a 2-0 lead.
With runners at first and second, Carlos Lee hit a slow bouncer toward John McDonald at third. Running from second, Michael Bourn seemed to alter his path in an attempt to distract McDonald, who fielded the ball but could not get the runner at second.
“When the runner stops and alters the completion of the play, in my view that’s interference,” Farrell said. “That’s the explanation that was given to us in a similar play that went against us earlier in the year. But it’s a judgment call.”
SETTING THE TABLE
Rajai Davis came into Saturday’s game batting .405 (15-for-37) in his last 10 games but, with Yunel Escobar getting on base at a .462 clip over the same period, Farrell isn’t about to make a change at the top of the batting order.
“On base is the biggest key,” Farrell said, “getting on base in front of Jose (Bautista). Davis has tools and skills that profile for the leadoff spot but, most importantly, we want a guy who gets on base and Yunel has done a very good job of that all year.”
Farrell thinks there is a correlation between Aaron Hill’s recently improved hitting and a more relaxed attitude at the plate.
“He’s a little bit more light-hearted,” Farrell said. “He was pressing when he first came back after the hamstring ... chasing balls up and appearing a little tense in the box. Through relaxation it looks to me he has better bat speed.”
Carlos Villanueva was an easy choice as far as Farrell was concerned when the team needed to name a new starter to replace Jesse Litsch Monday against the Yankees.
“On merit alone, he has earned the opportunity to move into the starting rotation,” said Farrell of Villanueva, who has allowed just 10 hits in 24 1/3 innings of relief.