5/5/2013 6:43 P.M. ET
Davis finding success against lefties
By Evan Peaslee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Rajai Davis hasn't hit well versus right-handers since becoming Toronto's fourth outfielder, something that is a dramatic change from his time in Oakland.
With the Athletics in 2009 and 2010, Davis hit .285 against righties, while only sporting a .232 average against them in Toronto.
However, he hasn't seen any fundamental change in a pitcher's approach over the last couple of seasons.
"I think I just had more consistent at-bats [with Oakland]. It's tough when you're in and out, up and down," Davis said. "When you're in there you have a chance to make adjustments, so that's what I did, and that's what I'm able to do.
"It's just a different angle. Other than that it's just your mindset."
Despite his struggles against righties, the 32-year-old has been very good against lefties, batting .391 in limited at-bats this season. He continued that in Sunday's 10-2 win over Seattle with a double off southpaw Joe Saunders.
"I feel pretty good," Davis said. "I think with the more consistent reps you get the better you feel, you get an idea what a pitcher would do to you, and get an idea of the velocity and timing and that thing. It's something when you're in there, you can stay sharp."
His success against lefties is something manager John Gibbons wants to utilize, and plans on giving Davis as much playing time against left-handers as possible, including his start in left field on Sunday.
However, Davis didn't have an explanation for his success, something that has been consistent throughout his career.
"I just think it's early," Davis said. "It's still early. I'm going to get better hitting righties [too], so it's just a matter of time."
Regardless of who's on the mound, Davis' greatest asset may come with his legs.
"When I get on base it seems like the pitcher changes their game plan sometime, and it gets them rattled," said the speedy outfielder, who has six stolen bases on the season after stealing 46 in 2012.
"[It] lets us see better pitches for the guys hitting behind me, just with that threat of stealing."
Third baseman Lawrie gets rare day off
TORONTO -- Brett Lawrie was on the Blue Jays' bench on Sunday for the first time since returning to the lineup on Apr. 16.
"He's just a little banged up," manager John Gibbons said. "It'll be a good day for a day off, because he's not going to get many of them."
Lawrie's played in 18 straight games, and has a .260 OBP, with three home runs, seven RBIs, and five runs scored.
The first handful of games served more as a Spring Training after missing more than a month with an oblique injury, but the Langley, B.C., native has hit .265 over his last nine games, and has all of his home runs in that stretch.
His replacement in Sunday's 10-2 win over Seattle, veteran Mark DeRosa, went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, two doubles and three runs.
Gibbons says Blue Jays' struggles 'very tough'
TORONTO -- Manager John Gibbons can't recall a more difficult time in his career, either as a player or a manager.
The Blue Jays, prior to Sunday's 10-2 win over the Mariners, had lost eight of their last nine, and they are 4-12 against their American League East rivals.
"Very tough," said Gibbons about his club's recent stretch. "[But] you just got to deal with it. You just got to play better and get out of it. There's no magic bullets. Just good baseball will [solve our problems]."
Toronto's recent play, that included a stretch of 23 consecutive scoreless innings from the team's offense, was enough to get a crowd of 35,754 at Saturday's game to boo relentlessly.
The fans, like the team, are frustrated.
"They have a right to be angry and frustrated. How am I going to say otherwise?" Gibbons said. "They're not more frustrated than we are, that's for sure."
With the Blue Jays struggling, the manager only has one solution to their problems.
"What you need is all 25 guys pitching in and doing what they're supposed to," Gibbons said.
"The key is just got out and play steady baseball for the rest of the year, and things take care of themselves."
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.