The Toronto Blue Jays can leave Oakland with their chins up after gaining a series split, knowing it was achieved with a lineup that should soon see some reinforcements.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell elected to give third baseman Brett Lawrie and centre-fielder Colby Rasmus another day of rest following injuries, but expects both to be available for the series opener Tuesday at Tampa Bay.
“We’ll take advantage of [Monday’s] off day and hopefully both will be back in the lineup on Tuesday,” Farrell told reporters prior to his team’s 6-5 win over the Athletics in Sunday’s series finale.
Rasmus, whom Farrell said was available to pinch hit on Sunday, strained his groin running towards the infield to catch Derek Norris’s fly ball in the bottom of the 11th inning in Friday’s 5-4 defeat in 15 innings.
Rasmus stayed in the game and doubled in the 12th before Farrell pulled him as a precaution.
Lawrie left the same game with tightness in his oblique (rib cage), an injury that dates to Toronto’s series against the Yankees in New York in mid-July.
Initially, he was able to play through the injury but the pain became too much after Lawrie aggravated the injury leading off Friday’s contest.
“He’s got a high pain threshold,” Farrell said, “but I think it got to the point where he had to say, ‘You know what, I’ve got to protect against this.’”
Rasmus is hitting .247 this season and is third on the Jays with 19 home runs and tied with the injured Jose Bautista for second on the club in runs batted in with 65.
Lawrie is second only to Edwin Encarnacion among Toronto regulars in batting average (.282) to go with nine homers and 40 RBIs.
Toronto will arrive in Tampa with a 53-55 record and five games behind American League wild-card leaders Detroit and Oakland.
The Rays are 56-52 and two games off the pace in the wild-card race.