July 28, 2012
Positioning pays for Jays' defence
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Besides Brett Lawrie climbing an invisible stepladder to spear Austin Jackson's liner to open the game, the Blue Jays made a number of fine fielding plays, including Travis Snider's diving grab in left off the bat of Prince Fielder in the first with a man on, and right fielder Rajai Davis taking a hit away from Omar Infante in the fifth. Maybe not the best of jumps in the case of Snider and Davis, but the balls were caught.
"The catch by Brett was a good start," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters. "A lot better than opening with a leadoff double. (Centre fielder Anthony) Gose has tremendous range, even if he's a step behind, he can make it up. They hit some balls on the screws but we were positioned properly. (Starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez) works quickly, throws strikes and keeps players in the game."
Jose Bautista used a fungo bat Saturday to hit off a tee for the first time since he injured his left wrist July 16 at Yankee Stadium. It's doubtful that Bautista will return Wednesday in Seattle when he is eligible to come off the disabled list ... Shortstop Yunel Escobar (back probems) played for the first time since Tuesday ... Adam Lind (sore back) didn't play for the second straight game.
WHO'S IN CENTRE?
Gose made his debut in centre field for the Jays, while Colby Rasmus served as the DH. "It felt like home," said Gose. "It also felt like I hadn't been there in forever."
Gose's previous start in centre was July 16, when he played for triple-A Las Vegas against Fresno.
Said Rasmus: "He's played centre all his life, it's not going to kill me for him to play there."
For Rasmus, there was an adjustment factor to hitting and then sitting for two or three innings as the DH. "It was weird in the beginning," Rasmus said of not being in the field. "I watched their pitcher was trying to do with the hitters so it would give me a better chance when I got up there."
Farrell's uncle Tom Price was a gold-medal winner at the 1952 Summer Olympics. He and partner Charlie Logg, representing the United States, won the coxless pairs event in Helsinki, Finland.
The quality start for Alvarez was his 11th of the season -- a club high. Yan Gomes made his first start behind the plate and Jeff Mathis starts Sunday with J.P. Arencibia on the disabled list for the next six weeks with a broken hand ... Lawrie doubled and singled and now has a team-high 31 multi-hit games ... The Jays have won a home series against the Tigers for only the second time since 2006.