TORONTO — It appears Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is good to go for Game 2 of the American League Division Series.
Toronto manager John Gibbons says “it looks pretty good” and that he plans on the MVP candidate being in the lineup for today’s game against the Texas Rangers.
“We don’t anticipate any problems,” said Gibbons.
Donaldson, who was listed on the lineup sheet posted outside the Jays clubhouse, was injured in Toronto’s 5-3 loss to the Rangers in Game 1 Thursday. He took a knee to the head while breaking up a double play.
Gibbons said Donaldson was undergoing some testing this morning, including running on a treadmill, after passing concussion protocol tests on Thursday.
Donaldson was seen walking into the Jays clubhouse soon after looking none the worse for wear. He also took batting practice.
Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who suffered a hamstring cramp in the ninth inning Thursday, will play today.
“He felt fine today so he should be in good shape,” said Gibbons.
The lone Toronto lineup change has Chris Colabello in for Justin Smoak at first base.
The Rangers will be without star third baseman Adrian Beltre, forced to leave Thursday’s game with a lower back strain.
“I looked over and watched the Rangers lose Beltre early on and it was almost like a trade right there when Josh went down,” said Gibbons. “Those things happen.
“It’s tough when it happens to your key guys but it happens. … You’ve just go to deal with it. It happens all the time in this game.”
Texas manager Jeff Banister said Beltre is “still sore.”
“I’m never going to count Adrian out of anything,” he added. “Toughest guy I’ve ever been around on a baseball field.”
Hanser Alberto, who came in for Beltre on Thursday, was listed as the Rangers starting third baseman for Game 2.
While not saying it was a must-win game, Gibbons acknowledged there was a lot on the line Friday.
“It’s a big game for us, I mean we’re at home … We’ve thrived all year (here) so we need to win this one,” he said. “It’s definitely not an elimination game but it would go a long way to helping us out, that’s for sure.”
Games 2 pits sophomore Blue Jay Marcus Stroman against Rangers ace Cole Hamels.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press