TORONTO -- Second baseman Aaron Hill's injured right hamstring didn't improve fast enough to avoid a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

Toronto made its decision on Sunday to put Hill on the DL. The move is retroactive to April 20, and will keep the veteran infielder out of action until at least May 5.

The Blue Jays had been holding out hope that Hill's status would improve before the club's upcoming four-game series in Texas. He went through a series of tests Sunday, but tightness in his leg continued to be a concern.

"We continued to hold out with small amounts of improvement over the past couple of days, and there might be some availability for him today," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters on Sunday.

"But after his early work, we're thinking at this point we're going to have to put him on the disabled list."

Hill suffered the injury while trying to steal second base on April 19 in a 6-5 win over the Yankees. It's a similar injury to the one he suffered during the first week of last season, which also required a stint on the DL.

It has a feeling of "been there, done that" for Hill, who thinks he has a better idea of how to deal with the injury this time around.

"I took a lot of things pretty hard last year and I think I learned a lesson from it," Hill said. "It's not the end of the world going on the DL. Yeah, I did feel good, but you feel great, even better when I come back and get back to stealing some bags and swinging the bat."

Hill is batting .242 with nine RBIs and a team-leading six stolen bases in 16 games this season.

The Blue Jays are also playing without the services of infielder Jayson Nix, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left knee bruise. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion remains out of action with a sore left wrist, and is currently day to day.

That has pressed John McDonald and Mike McCoy into starting duty, which leaves veteran Chris Woodward as the only reserve infielder on the bench.

Litsch will get start Tuesday for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Jesse Litsch will start for the Blue Jays against the Rangers on Tuesday, replacing Brett Cecil, who was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this week.

Litsch was optioned to Las Vegas on April 19 two days after allowing four earned runs and seven hits against the Red Sox.

Litsch made just one start at Triple-A -- on Friday night. He threw 44 pitches over three innings, and gave up one earned run on four hits while striking out two. He was lifted from the game early in order to preserve his arm for the possibility of starting Tuesday.

"Friday's start was on his fifth day from his previous start. He had been over 100 pitches prior on a couple of occasions, so we don't look at that as a step back in terms of workload capability," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

In the big leagues this year, Litsch has made three starts, allowing 18 hits and nine runs over 17 1/3 innings. He has struck out 16 and walked seven.

Farrell looks to give players different looks

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays shuffled their lineup Sunday, giving several players a look at different spots in the batting order.

Corey Patterson and Yunel Escobar switched places at the top of the lineup, with Patterson taking over at leadoff and Escobar sliding down to his familiar role as the No. 2 hitter.

"It's not anything as far as Yunel not performing in the leadoff spot. I just want to get Yunel back into a more comfortable spot for him," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Ideally, it gets Corey in a spot where he may look at a couple more pitches, too."

Designated hitter Juan Rivera moved up to the fifth spot in the lineup after a pair of late-game singles in his last two games. Rivera also has excellent numbers over his career against Rays starter James Shields.

The 32-year-old was hitting .467 with seven hits in 15 at-bats against Shields heading into the game.

"Juan has faced Shields a number of times, so we're going to rely on that history here," Farrell said. "And we're trying to see if there's some momentum built upon what he's been doing the last two days."

Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion missed his second straight game with a sore left wrist. The 28-year-old suffered the injury in his final at-bat Friday night, and was a late scratch before Saturday afternoon's game.