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07/21/11 12:12 AM ET

Rogers Centre roof to be closed due to heat

TORONTO -- On Thursday afternoon, Rogers Centre's retractable roof will be closed because of extreme heat for the first time in the stadium's 23-year history.

The high temperatures expected for the series finale against Seattle have forced Blue Jays officials to keep Rogers Centre closed.

Conditions are projected to reach 48 degrees Celsius -- 118 degrees Fahrenheit -- with humidity. That type of heat index had Blue Jays manager John Farrell hoping the roof would remain closed in the air conditioned dome.

"I would rather it be closed tomorrow with the extremeness that we're going to have," Farrell said prior to Wednesday night's game. "That turf is going to add some degrees to it as well. Being the fact that this is our home ballpark, I think we have the ability to have a discussion about that today."

Philadelphia right-hander Roy Halladay was forced to leave his last start against the Cubs after the fourth inning because of possible dehydration brought on by 91-degree temperatures.

Farrell said he's had discussions with teams in southern climates to see how they deal with the heat on a regular basis. The Rangers pay close attention to their pitchers to ensure a similar situation to Halladay doesn't happen with them.

"Their starting pitchers take an IV before they go out in the game," Farrell said. "They'll replenish their fluids or even preventively pump their systems with fluid just to have to a reserve, or a reservoir almost, as they're going through the extreme heat.

"Most importantly it's the days leading up to your start day, anticipating the conditions. You've got to hydrate before going out there."

Escobar in lineup despite injured knee

TORONTO -- Yunel Escobar was in the Blue Jays' starting lineup on Wednesday despite suffering a minor knee injury the night before.

Escobar tweaked his left knee in the third inning during an at-bat against Mariners starter Michael Pineda. The 28-year-old shortstop remained in the game before being lifted for a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth.

"He tweaked it when he swung aggressively on the one fastball," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It wasn't in the knee, it was around the knee, it was more musculature. He wasn't overly concerned by it at the time but with every guy, you have to take every precaution."

Escobar came into Toronto's clubhouse Wednesday and reported no ill effects. The Cuba native entered play Wednesday having reached base safely in a career high 23 consecutive games.

He also leads all American League shortstops with a .378 on-base percentage and times on base with 146.

Slugger Jose Bautista got the start at designated hitter for the second consecutive game. Bautista missed three games earlier in the week with a twisted right ankle.

The Blue Jays do not have a timetable for his return to third base but do not expect him to miss any more action.

"We'll stay with the DH for today," Farrell said. "Just don't want to go too much too soon. He was on his feet last night, as we all were, for six at-bats. We're going as is.

"We'll check and see how he is after today. We missed three days with him, we want him for at least three and I'm sure more. The way he has responded, it wouldn't be surprising to me at all that he is full go."

Bautista is batting .332 with a Major League leading 31 home runs while also posting 66 RBIs and 74 runs scored.

Lawrie back in Triple-A, working on stroke

TORONTO -- Top prospect Brett Lawrie is back in Triple-A Las Vegas, but he's still searching for the stroke at the plate that had made him one of the league's most feared hitters.

Lawrie started both games of a doubleheader for Las Vegas on Tuesday. He went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in his first action with the team since fracturing his left hand on May 31.

The 21-year-old is still getting his feel back in the batter's box and Blue Jays manager John Farrell said it's too early to know how long that will take.

"Physically fine, timing wise he is clearly trying to get back to his timing," Farrell said when asked about Lawrie's progress. "A lot of swing and miss. I'm sure he's anxious about getting back with Las Vegas, getting back with the flow of things.

"But I think the most important thing for him to understand, and for all of us to understand, is that there is no specific date and that he just goes and plays."

Lawrie was on the verge of being promoted to the Major Leagues at the time of his injury. That could cause the native of Langley, British Columbia, to press a little too much in an effort to prove he is ready for a call-up. But Farrell thinks it's going to be the type of obstacle that is good for such a young player.

"I think this is going to be an excellent learning opportunity for him," Farrell said. "He got off to such a good start this year, the league adjusted to him and then he was forced to counter adjust, which he did, he was making those necessary adjustments."

Lawrie is batting .343 with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs in 54 games this season for Las Vegas.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.