MINNEAPOLIS -- The Blue Jays participated in MLB's annual Mother's Day tradition on Sunday, with many players donning pink wristbands, necklaces and even cleats in support of the league's ongoing efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer research.
Four players -- Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie -- swung pink bats, combining for five hits with their new lumber while shedding light on an issue important to the league, its players and fans.
"It's just nice to bring it into the spotlight," outfielder Rajai Davis said. "A lot of people pay attention to it now and it's bringing a lot more attention, not only to mothers on Mother's Day, but also to breast cancer awareness."
First baseman Adam Lind said it's appropriate to honor the women in their lives who helped them reach their ultimate dream of playing in the Major Leagues.
"I like it -- one day a year you pay tribute to your mom," Lind said. "Everybody's got a mom here. I remember my mom hitting me ground balls in the back yard at our house. My mom was always there to play games with me."
Davis added that if it weren't for his mother helping him set goals in his life, he might not be in the position to help make a difference in the lives of other people.
"My mom was the most influential person in my life," Davis said. "She's given me some words that I keep even now. When I was younger she said, 'You can do whatever you want to do,' and I just believed that and took that to heart, and I found myself in the big leagues about 20 years later."
Thames, Lawrie reflect on highlight-reel catch
MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Blue Jays teamed up on Saturday to make a defensive play that will be part of highlight films for years to come, as Eric Thames caught a foul fly ball that deflected off the glove of Brett Lawrie in a play reminiscent of Pete Rose and Bob Boone in the 1980 World Series.
With the Jays clinging to a 2-1 lead, Francisco Cordero relieved Drew Hutchison and the first batter he faced, Twins first baseman Chris Parmalee, lofted a high pop fly down the third-base line. Lawrie raced into foul territory to track the ball, then ended up backpedaling a good 50 feet before lunging to his left to make the catch.
The ball popped out of his glove, but Thames also had given pursuit from left field and showed his quick reflexes, plucking the ball out of midair before it could hit the ground.
"I thought he had it and I saw the ball bounce out of the glove and just reacted," Thames said. "It happened so fast -- it's crazy trying to describe it because it was just pure adrenaline."
Thames screamed and pumped his fist after relaying the ball to the infield, while the normally exuberant Lawrie merely shook his head in amazement before embracing his teammate for covering his back.
"I took off and I had to go a lot farther than I had anticipated," Lawrie said in describing the play. "I kept going and going and the ball seemed to keep going and going. I got so far out that I was at a point where I thought I was going to be underneath it and it still took off and I had to backpedal again.
"Sure enough, I got my glove on it and had my teammate there to pick me up. It was good positioning, I guess you could say. ... He was in the right place at the right time."
After the game, Lawrie said he was looking forward to watching a replay of the catch, while Thames said he was excited to see himself in highlight reels the rest of his life.
"I'll take it," Thames said, laughing. "Brett and I as a tag-team, I'll take it."
Lind showing signs of breaking out of slump
MINNEAPOLIS -- Now that Jose Bautista is showing signs of breaking out of his season-long slump, the Blue Jays' attention turns to first baseman Adam Lind.
Lind, who has averaged 28 home runs, 91 RBIs and a .798 OPS the last three seasons, is off to a slow start in 2012. Through Saturday night, Lind was hitting just .191 with three homers, 11 RBIs and a .604 OPS.
However, Lind did drive in the Jays' first run in Saturday's 2-1 victory with a crisp, two-out single off Twins pitcher P.J. Walters. After the game, manager John Farrell said he hoped it was a sign that Lind was starting to turn it around, and on Sunday morning Lind said he thinks he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'm feeling better than I was a week ago," Lind said. "I know it's a process and hopefully the process is nearing an end."
While Lind is only hitting .161 on the Blue Jays' current road trip, he has hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the fourth inning that jump-started a 5-2 win at Oakland on Wednesday. He credits at least some of the turnaround to adjustments he made after the Blue Jays left Toronto on May 1.
"I changed a few things at the beginning of this road trip, from walking to trying to be more aggressive," Lind said. "It's sort of like having Spring Training to figure it out, but having to do it in the middle of the season. But I'm feeling good right now."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.