CHICAGO - To the surprise of no one, the Toronto Blue Jays decided to sit 3B Brett Lawrie for Sunday’s game, the final game before the club’s four-day all-star game break. In Saturday’s game, a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Lawrie was forced to leave the game because of lower back soreness.
“I feel that if I really had to go I could,” Lawrie said. “At the same time I think they’re just taking it easy with the all-star break coming up. They’re just giving me an extra day just trying to get this thing right. If I were to go into the game, maybe I’d jam it up so it’s precautionary more than anything.”
When the Jays return to action on Friday in the first of three home games against the Cleveland Indians, Lawrie said he should be ready to go.
“I should be okay by then,” he said. “I made a lot of progress from yesterday and I figure I’ll be ready to go.”
In Sunday’s victory, the top four hitters in the Jays lineup were walked seven times. In all the Jays were walked a season high nine times. ... It marked the seventh time this season the Jays have scored 10 or more runs ... Rajai Davis, who batted leadoff in place for Brett Lawrie was the lone starter not to get a hit. However he walked twice, was hit by a pitch, stole three bases and scored two runs.
Casey Janssen picked up his 12th save of the season by blanking Chicago over the final 1 2/3 innings. It was the first time he’s been asked to work more than one inning while closing out a game.
“I was just saying, five outs seems like forever,” Janssen said of the five out save. “I’ve obviously done it before in my career but it’s a little different than the last month or so.”
After giving up an infield single to Alexei Ramirez in the seventh inning, lefty reliever Luis Perez had to leave the game with a sore elbow.
“He’s got some left elbow tightness and we’re going to put him on the disabled list,” manager John Farrell said. “He’ll go to Florida to get further examined.”
FIRST HALF VIEW
The Blue Jays hit the all-star game with a 43-43 record. So, what has Farrell seen from his troops to date?
“I think our offence has performed as we anticipated,” Farrell said. “I felt like this is a strong group that returned from a year ago and a full season or Brett, Colby and K.J. (Kelly Johnson) and some progressions in some other areas has given us the strength in the offence that we’re realizing.”
Up until the injuries, the pitching was a pleasant surprise.
“Through the first two months of the season they (starters) were the strength of this team,” Farrell said. “When you think back to spring training we thought the bullpen was going to be a strength and that hasn’t been the strength we fully expected. Injury played into some of that (the loss of closer Sergio Santos), and there were inconsistent performance in some other ways.”