TORONTO -- The Blue Jays were able to breathe a deep sigh of relief after it was revealed on Wednesday that third baseman Brett Lawrie does not have any broken bones in his injured hand.
Toronto's top prospect was hit on the top of his left hand by a mid-90s fastball during Tuesday night's game with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Lawrie was taken to a local hospital for precautionary X-Rays following the incident. The results didn't reveal any structural damage and he is considered day-to-day.
"Fortunately the X-rays proved there were no fractures," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "So, he is dealing with some swelling in the back of his left hand.
"Hopefully it doesn't disrupt, too long, what otherwise has been a dominant year for him in Triple-A."
Prior to Tuesday night's game most of the talk surrounding Lawrie revolved around an imminent promotion to the Major Leagues. General manager Alex Anthopoulos described Lawrie as being "close" to joining the Blue Jays and many people expected that to come as soon as Friday in Baltimore.
That seems less likely following the hand injury. Lawrie is expected to require at least a couple of days of rest to allow the swelling in his hand to subside before he is able to resume baseball-related activities.
Farrell insisted to reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the injury doesn't affect Lawrie's schedule because there had never been a date set by the organization for when the native of Langley, British Columbia, would make his debut in the big leagues.
"There has been no timeframe for his callup," Farrell said. "He certainly has been talked about internally, he is having an outstanding year, he is dominating Triple-A, he's getting more comfortable with his play at third base.
"But to say it has changed any time frame, there has been no definitive decision on selection or callup. We just felt like we dodged a little bit of a bullet last night when the X-rays proved negative."
Lawrie is hitting .354 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 52 games this season at Triple-A. He leads the Pacific Coast League in in hits (79), extra-base hits (38), doubles (15), runs (51) and total bases (151).
Toronto had been resisting the urge to promote Lawrie during the early stages of the year. The club instead asked Lawrie to improve his defense and also his discipline at the plate in the Minors.
Lawrie appears to have done just that. The 21-year-old has committed 12 errors this season, but seven of those came in his first 12 games of the season. Since then, he has fielded cleanly in 36 of 39 games.
The former first-round pick also struck out 23 times in April while walking just four times. In May, he showed a dramatic improvement in striking 17 times with 14 walks.
Those adjustments throughout the season are what have impressed Farrell the most.
"He set out with a very strong April, the league started to adjust to him and then he countered with that adjustment," Farrell said. "When [the production] trends upward, leveling off, and then upward again, it's clear that he has taken to heart and applying some of the pitch recognition and the strike zone discipline that he is showing."
Trio of triples highlights Blue Jays' fifth
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' offense recorded three consecutive triples for the first time in club history during the fifth inning of Wednesday night's 13-9 loss to the Indians.
Eric Thames, Rajai Davis and Jayson Nix each tripled off Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin.
That marked the first time a team accomplished the feat since the Montreal Expos did it on May 6, 1981 in a game against San Diego. Mike Gates, Tim Raines and Tim Wallach were the three players involved in that contest.
Thames got the inning started with a triple off the wall in right. Davis followed with a triple of his own to the gap in right-center field.
Nix then closed things out with a broken bat hit to center. Indians outfielder Michael Brantley attempted to make a diving catch on the play, but was unable to come up with the catch.
The ball bounced away from Brantley and rolled all the way to the wall. That allowed Nix to go all the way to third base where he would eventually score on a grounder to cap Toronto's three-run inning.
Davis entered the game in a three-way tie for the most triples on the team with three. He now has sole possession of first place with four.
Bautista takes opposite approach against shift
TORONTO -- The Indians joined the list of teams that have been applying a defensive shift around the infield when Jose Bautista steps to the plate.
Cleveland has placed three infielders on the left side of the field during most of Bautista's at-bats, which leaves a large gap between first and second base.
Bautista has taken advantage with five hits in the first two games of the series. He singled twice and also recorded a double with all of the hits going to the opposite field.
"I think a lot of the teams putting the shift on me has led me to try and hit the balls that way more often," Bautista said. "At the same time they're putting the shift on, they're pitching me away which is something that I don't really get. That's allowed me to go to right field more."
The opposite-field hits are exactly what the Indians want to force Bautista to do, according to manager Manny Acta. Bautista went without a home run on Monday and Tuesday, and if the All-Star slugger wants to start focusing on going to the opposite field, Cleveland welcomes that with open arms.
"If I come here and Jose hits nine groundballs through the hole to right field, I'm happy," Acta said. "Happy. Nine groundball singles don't add up to two balls in the blue seats. Those are eight singles in two swings."
Bautista believes he first saw the shift during a game against the Yankees. The strategy has also been implemented by Joe Maddon's Rays and seems to be catching on with other teams in the American League.
That trend is just fine with the Major League leader in home runs. Bautista says he is OK taking what the opposition gives him, especially early in games when his club is looking to get as many base runners as possible.
"You're trying to get more base runners on and I certainly have capable guys behind me," Bautista said. "I don't feel like I have to hit home runs for us to score runs. That's not the only way we can score runs, so, the more base runners we get the better for us.
"If at that point I can get a dribbler through between first and second and have men at first and third that's going to be good for us especially early in the game."
Bautista entered Wednesday's game against Cleveland hitting .363 with 20 home runs and 38 RBIs. He also leads the Majors in runs (45), on-base percentage (.505), and total bases (132).
Blue Jays' break comes at less than ideal time
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays will finally have a chance for a day of rest following a stretch of 20 games in as many days.
Toronto's will receive an off-day on Thursday following a three-game set against the Indians.
The timing isn't exactly ideal, though, as the club entered play Wednesday night having gone 13-9 since May 8.
"The day off will be a good one, but the fact that we're on a fairly good run here, you want to go play every day when guys are feeling as good and as confident as they are right now," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
"Even going into the White Sox series, talked to a number of guys individually that have been playing regularly, asked them about giving them a little bit of a rotation with guys in the DH spot, nobody wants to come off the field."
Even so, the Blue Jays likely could use the time off before opening a seven-day, seven-game road trip on Friday in Baltimore. Later in June, Toronto club will also be facing nine-game trip against some southern teams during Interleague Play.
With temperatures starting to rise in cities across the league, Farrell said it is important to monitor how his players are doing physically to ensure everyone receives appropriate rest.
"I realize we haven't gotten into the hot weather yet," Farrell said. "We're fortunate to play in this dome and the weather conditions are on our side a lot here. But when we get through this next road trip, we're going to hit some mid-90s heat and we'll have to monitor that a little bit closer."
Adam Lind was set to start at designated hitter for Class A Dunedin on Wednesday night. He is expected to go through the same routine on Thursday before starting at first baseman for Dunedin on Friday night.
Lind is currently on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his lower back. He hasn't played since May 7 against the Tigers.
Toronto will not use its upcoming off-day to make changes to its starting rotation. Manager John Farrell said on Wednesday that he would use the off-day to give his staff an extra day of rest before Friday's series opener against the Orioles.
Yunel Escobar entered Wednesday night's game with the Major League lead for shortstops with 27 walks. He also ranks first in the American League in on-base percentage (.370) and it tied for third in hits (59) and average (.296).
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB b>. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.