05/14/10 11:26 PM ET
Hechavarria makes pro debut
By Larry Millson / Special to MLB.com
He batted second and went 1-for-5 with a single and a strikeout. He also started one double play.
"Offensively things didn't go as much as I wanted to," said Hechavarria through a teammate translator, "I felt good about my glove today and was able to make some good plays. I felt good about it."
As for his first pro hit in the bottom of the eighth, Hechavarria said, "An infield hit -- I will take it for my first hit in professional baseball. I feel good about my first game."
The 21-year-old Cuban shortstop was signed officially by the Blue Jays on April 13 to a four-year, $10-million Major League contract.
Dunedin was playing the Clearwater Threshers, a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate.
Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill had a chance to work with Hechavarria last month when he was in Dunedin rehabilitating from a hamstring injury that put him on the disabled list.
"He has all the tools in the world," Hill said before Friday's game against the Texas Rangers. "When you look across the board, the five tools, he has all of them.
"Just a raw, good baseball player. I think with the right direction, the right coaching, just as far as learning how to get better at each stage, and learning from his mistakes and keeping positive throughout the system, he'll be something special, just from what he looks like. He's a nice kid, they said he's great. We took ground balls, hit together."
Toronto returns home after solid road trip
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays returned home Friday for a three-game series against the Texas Rangers after an impressive 7-3 road trip, despite losing two of the final three games to the Boston Red Sox.
The reward was a day off in the schedule on Thursday. When Cito Gaston was asked if he would rather keep playing when the team is going well or have the day off, the Blue Jays manager opted for the latter.
"We needed a day off," Gaston said before Friday's game at Rogers Centre. "We played  games in a row, I believe it was. I think it was good just to rest your mind, rest your body a little bit and start up again."
After the Rangers leave, the Minnesota Twins visit for two games before the Blue Jays hit the road again.
The Jays entered the five-game homestand 20-16 overall and that could be considered better than expected as they embark on a rebuilding season. Gaston has liked the way the team has pulled together so far.
"I think one thing that you have to think about is all the guys on this team; they've all helped out," he said. "Some more than others, but that's the way you win.
"If you could look back at that road trip, [Travis] Snider won a couple of ballgames, [Fred] Lewis won a couple, so it's been a team effort all the way around for me from the pitching staff, all the way down to the hitters."
Hill returns to lineup after hamstring tightness
TORONTO -- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill was back in the lineup Friday against the Texas Rangers after he was a late scratch from Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Red Sox.
The injured hamstring that put him on the disabled list early in the season was a little tight before the game in Boston, so by sitting him for that game, it gave Hill two consecutive days off after Thursday's scheduled off-day.
Before Friday's game at Rogers Centre, he said the hamstring felt fine.
"It feels great," he said. "It just kind of lingered, it is what it is. Go out there and go play to the best of your ability." What also has lingered is Hill's hitting funk. He entered Friday's game batting .181 with two home runs and six RBIs. He was hitting .187 in the 19 games since coming off the disabled list on April 23.
Hill is still trying to find the key to regaining his form at the plate, working with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy. That has included video work to compare his swing now to when he was hitting well.
"Just to make sure, we've covered everything," Hill said. "We've done split screen, we've done everything. I'm just missing."
Hill said he is getting the foot down in time to start his swing.
"That's just what we're making sure," he said, "that I am getting down in time because if my foot's not getting down, I'm going to be late. I'm just kind of in between pitches right now."
All Jays games to be broadcast on Sportsnet
TORONTO -- All 162 Blue Jays games during the 2010 season will now be broadcast exclusively by Rogers Sportsnet, the club announced.
The Blue Jays approached TSN with a request to buy back the final year of a contract that expires at the end of 2010. At that time, the club notified TSN that Blue Jays games for future seasons would no longer be available. The Blue Jays, TSN and Sportsnet worked together to come up with a mutually satisfactory solution.
"TSN has been a tremendous partner of ours since the inception of their network in 1984," Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston said in a staement. "TSN was a great force in helping us promote our brand and Major League Baseball in Canada. However, it was felt that with the multitude of channels that Rogers Sportsnet now offers, that the Blue Jays and their fans would be best served by having one network produce and distribute our games."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. MLB.com contributor Eddie Michels contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.