Bautista ejected, Jays fall to Rays

Toronto Blue Jays Kelly Johnson is out on the force at second base, but manages to keep Tampa Bay...

Toronto Blue Jays Kelly Johnson is out on the force at second base, but manages to keep Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist from turning a double play, in the seventh inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 26, 2011. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

TORONTO - Jose Bautista flipped his lid — big time.

Upset with more than a few of home plate umpire Bill Welke’s calls and upset with himself for striking out in all three at-bats, Bautista blew a gasket in the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

After reaching the dugout, hurled a few choice words at Welke, who promptly gave him the thumb. That tipped a hot Bautista over the edge and he responded by throwing his bat, some water bottles and his batting helmet out on to the field.

Bautista’s outburst came with the Jays trailing 4-1 and didn’t light a spark as they would go on to drop a 6-1 decision to the Rays.

With the outcome, the Jays didn’t win one for the Gipper as manager John Farrell was a no-show due to a bout with pneumonia.

The Blue Jays 48-year-old manager was forced to leave Thursday’s game in the ninth inning with pain in his left side, a condition that was later diagnosed at Toronto General Hospital as pneumonia.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos met with the media prior to Friday’s game and said that the doctors had prescribed rest to deal with his condition.

Taking over for Farrell until he returns is bench coach Don Wakamatsu.

After the game Bautista wasn’t talking but Wakamatsu felt the outburst was an extension of his competitive nature.

“What makes him special is that he’s so competitive,” Wakamatsu said. “Obviously he thought some of those pitches were borderline or out of the zone which put him in a hole against an awfully good pitcher. I think there were some emotions flying and obviously with the strikeouts it got to him a little bit.”

As for Farrell, Anthopoulos said it may be a couple of days.

“He’s feeling a lot better, he’s at home and he just needs to rest a little bit. He’s day to day at this point,” Anthopoulos said. “He might be back tomorrow (Saturday) but it depends on how he feels. The doctor said the best thing for him is rest.”

Rookie Henderson Alvarez made his fourth start for the Jays and is still looking for his first win.

He had his good stuff and was sharp — four hits and six strikeouts over six innings — but was done in by the long ball, three home runs in total, a two-run shot by Desmond Jennings in the third and two solo shots from Evan Longoria.

NO REGRETS

Brett Lawrie has taken the city by storm, what with his aggressive, colourful and productive play — both at third base and at the plate. He opened a lot of eyes during spring training and looking back, do the Jays regret not bringing him to the big leagues when they broke camp?

“Not at all,” Anthopoulos said. “I wouldn’t change a thing that we did with him.

“I was alarmed at the end of spring training with the quality of his at-bats. I think everybody got so caught up with his success early. He was in the high .300s for a while. I think people forgot that the last two weeks or so before he went out that his average dipped down to .286 and I saw a lot of curveballs and sliders and a lot of chase and a lot of roll-over. Everybody lost sight of the fact he limped to the finish line (at spring training) a little bit when people started throwing off-speed.”

Anthopoulos said that defensively he saw Lawrie needed work, especially on balls on his glove side. He believes Lawrie, who hit a solo home run in the second inning, could have started the year with the Jays and survived but he feels the time spent in Las Vegas out of the media glare was extremely beneficial.

“What we’ve seen defensively since spring training is a quantum lap,” Anthopoulos said. “It doesn’t mean it (development) can’t happen here, I just think it’s a lot easier to go down there and not be under the microscope and not have to worry about making a mistake and not have to hear about it all the time.

“Hopefully he’s here to stay.”

GAME STUFF

Alvarez had his good stuff this game and set down the first seven batters he faced in order without allowing a ball to leave the infield. Then on a 2-2 pitch to John Jaso with one out in the third, Alvarez came inside with the ball skimming Jaso’s forearm. Jaso dropped his bat and headed for first but was brought back by home Welke who thought the ball hit his bat. Jaso and Rays manager Joe Maddon argued the point and won the debate as Jaso was sent to first. Replays showed Jaso to be right ... The Jays threatened in the third with runners on first and second and one out. Jose Bautista, however, struck out swinging and Adam Lind, who has hit five homers off James Shields in his career, ground into a fielder’s choice ending the threat ... After belting a homer on a 3-1 fastball in the second inning, Lawrie ran the count to 3-1 his next time up in the fourth. But this time, after a conference with his catcher, James Shields didn’t come back with a fastball as he dropped in a breaking ball and then got Lawrie out ahead of a changeup to strike him out.


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