Griffin: Blue Jays notes at Baltimore - Game 19
BALTIMORE-For the first time in the major leagues, Canadian third baseman Brett Lawrie was written into the starting lineup batting second in the order on Thursday at Camden Yards. For the most part, he has hit 5-6-7 for the Jays, with an occasional appearance in the nine-hole last season. He was enthusiastic about the opportunity although it's hard to see if that's any different than any other day in Lawrie's young life.
“Yeah, anywhere that I can kind of fit in and help the team out as best I can is alright with me," Lawrie said, in between setting the music for the pre-game clubhouse playlist. "It doesn't matter if it's first or ninth if I get the opportunity to help my guys out.
“I think it gives me the opportunity to get more at-bats, see the ball a little bit more and hopefully get some more pitches because I've got some guys behind me that can sort of back me up a little bit. So if I can get on, especially for Jose, if I can get on a little bit for him and try and get in scoring position for him to drive me in."
Lawrie in the first inning grounded into a double play, in his first two-hole at-bat. Leading off the fourth inning he beat out an infield sibgle on a grounder to the hole at shortstop.
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Blue Jays manager John Farrell made an unusual decision in the 3-0 loss to the O's on Wednesday night that needed, nay, begged for an explanation.
In the ninth inning, Farrell sent the speedy Rajai Davis in to pinch run for Eric Thames at first base, with nobody out. Davis is a threat, but Thames only represented the second run if he came around to score, meaning that if Edwin Encarnacion or J.P. Arencibia reached base, he would have had to run with Omar Vizquel or not al all. There wasn't even an open base ahead of Rajai to make him a threat to steal. So why was he in the game?
“When they scored the third run, realizing where we were in the game, down 3-0, I felt like if we had a chance to score a second run on a ball in the gap in that situation, then it changes things that much more with the potential of where they might face the bottom third of the lineup," Farrell said somewhat unconvincingly. "You might make the statement of 'Well why not wait for him if J.P. gets on?', but I didn't want to wait around and see if that was going to present itself. So that was the case there."
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Heading into action on Thursday night at Triple-A Las Vegas, outfielder Travis Snider led the Pacific Coast League with 23 RBIs and was fourth with a .405 average and a .703 slugging percentage...At A-Dunedin on Wednesday, centre fielder Jake Marisnick had two hits and a double, leading the 16-3 Blue Jays to a 9-3 win over Lakeland.
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In addition to the injury to Dustin McGowan, another member of the anticipated Jays' starting rotation is on the disabled list in the minor leagues. Lefthander Brett Cecil has been sidelined for a few days.
“He pulled a groin in his last start," Jays' manager John Farrell explained. "He's been running, he's been long-tossing. We expected at the time of the injury that he'd probably miss three starts. He's still not back off the disabled list yet."