Escobar flirts with .300
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
CLEVELAND - SS Yunel Escobar celebrated his return to the lineup Wednesday in the Jays’ loss to Boston by going 4-for-5, marking his first four-hit game of the season and the sixth of his career. Escobar had not played since being hit in the back of his left hand last Friday against the Phillies. He came into Thursday’s game against Cleveland on a six-game hit streak, during which he had gone 14-for-25 (.560) to raise his batting average to .297.
J.P. Arencibia was knocked out of Wednesday’s game in the ninth inning after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch. However, the 25-year-old catcher was back in the lineup and behind the plate against the Indians.
“Fortunately the most encouraging thing (Wednesday) was when he was checked on the field he had good grip strength,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s a little sore but it’s not to the point of him not being able to go.”
Arencibia came into the game in a 0-for-17 rut, his longest hitless streak of the season. Over his past 15 games, Arencibia is hitting .106 (5-for-47) with two home runs and two RBIs.
On the farm
Kyle Drabek had another positive outing at triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday. He allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings. He also walked one and struck out eight.
“He had a good outing,” Farrell said. “Again he used his fastball a lot for strikes. He threw fastball, curveball, changeup. His changeup was well above average and he pitched to contact. He had very good stuff.”
Farrell said there is no set timetable for Drabek’s return.
“With any player who is set back to make adjustments, ultimately their consistency will force the hand or generate the internal conversation that leads to that decision,” Farrell said.
At class-A Dunedin, RHP Dustin McGowan pitched two scoreless innings in his second rehab start. He didn’t allow a hit, walked two and struck out two. McGowan has not pitched in the majors since 2008.