Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista out with strained shoulder v. Orioles

TORONTO — Jose Bautista is avoiding aggravating an injured shoulder — not a vengeful Baltimore Orioles team.

Bautista was not in the lineup for Wednesday night’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Orioles after an MRI revealed a strained right shoulder.

Bautista had been struggling with nagging shoulder pain, but injured himself throwing from right field to first base in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 13-6 win over Baltimore.

“That’s when I first said, ‘That (throw) wasn’t the smartest thing to do,'” said Bautista, who had been trying to throw out Baltimore outfielder Delmon Young.

Just prior to that throw, Bautista was involved in a testy exchange with Orioles outfielder Adam Jones between the seventh and eighth innings.

Jones yelled at Bautista from the dugout because he felt the Toronto outfielder had shown up Baltimore reliever Jason Garcia by taking his time on the basepaths after hitting a home run to left field.

The Blue Jays all-star was angry that Garcia had thrown behind him in the pitch before the blast.

Bautista said the argument with Jones fired him up in the field and may have led to throwing too hard to get out Young.

“I can’t take it back, and it’s one of those emotional plays,” Bautista said. “That’s the way I play the game. Trying to get an out. Maybe in the situation I should have tried to weigh better the pros and cons, knowing that my arm was already hurting.”

Toronto manager John Gibbons said that Wednesday’s move was strictly for Bautista’s health and not to avoid any retribution from the Orioles.

“You move on to the next day,” said Gibbons. “The game moves on.”

Gibbons said that if there’s no progress in the next few days Bautista could be moved to the disabled list.

“I hate to say it because I think it’s kind of weird when hockey does it, but it is day-to-day,” Bautista said. “I have to see how it feels tomorrow, I can’t jump ahead and say I’ll be ready to hit in two days.

“My shoulder is sore right now, that’s all I can say.”

The move was also partly strategic. Bautista is 2-for-29 in his career against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0) and has been struggling this season, hitting .149 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in.

“I was probably going to give him the night off tonight anyway,” said Gibbons. “He’s been scuffling against Jimenez. Jimenez has been tough on him. This just made it easier.”

Rookie second baseman Devon Travis returned to Toronto’s lineup on Wednesday. He’d missed a game with a sore rib after being hit by a pitch in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Travis has been off to a hot start in his first season in the majors. He leads the Blue Jays with a .356 average and 12 RBIs. He also has three home runs and a .408 on-base percentage over 13 games.


Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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