6/18/2013 8:05 P.M. ET
Rasmus gets rare break from lineup
By Evan Peaslee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Colby Rasmus got a rare day off on Tuesday.
Rasmus was not in the starting lineup for only the second time since May 26, a span of 19 games.
"Keep him fresh," manager John Gibbons said of his outfielder. "Give him a day. He'd been going hard, playing all those games down there [in the heat in Texas]."
Toronto's everyday center fielder had found himself missing a handful of starts earlier in the season when facing left-handers, but that isn't as big of a concern anymore.
Rasmus has started 13 of the club's 19 games against left-handed starters, including six of the last seven.
So far this season, Rasmus is hitting .232 against lefties with two home runs and eight RBIs in 69 at-bats, a substantial improvement from 2012 when he hit .182 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 154 at-bats.
Morrow has setback after first rehab start
TORONTO -- Prior to Monday's game against the Rockies, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said it was a big night for Brandon Morrow.
Morrow was making his first start with Class A Dunedin as part of his rehab from right forearm soreness.
The game itself went poorly, as the Blue Jays right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits and a walk in two innings.
However, the results afterwards were the ones that stung the most.
Morrow had a setback in that outing with the same forearm soreness that had him placed on the disabled list on May 29 reappearing.
"The forearm is still bothering him," Gibbons said. "Back him off that rehab, get him re-examined, see where he's at."
Although things will be more clearly after he is re-examined, it's a big blow for both the Blue Jays and Morrow. The 28-year-old was set for another start or two in the Minor Leagues, and was on pace to be due back with the club sometime next week prior to the setback.
Blue Jays surging behind improving pitching staff
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are playing their best baseball of the season entering Tuesday's game and a large part of that is because of the pitching staff.
Over the last 13 games in which the club has gone 10-3, the staff has a 1.98 ERA, which is the second best in the Majors over that span.
Even more impressive may be the starters, who have allowed only two earned runs over the past five games.
"If we could do that all year, we wouldn't lose a game, I bet," Mark Buehrle said. "We're going go through stretches where we're good, and we're going to go through stretches when we're bad. I wouldn't expect to keep this rate up for too much … just have to ride it out while we can."
The club's recent success on the mound has lowered its season ERA to 4.15 prior to Tuesday's game, good for 21st in the Majors.
"I don't know why we didn't do that early in the season," Buehrle said. "Obviously earlier in the year we weren't doing a good job, putting the team in a hole, and we had to battle out of it, and the offense did a pretty good job of scoring us some runs. Now we're going out there doing what we're supposed to do and giving our team a chance to get a couple of runs."
Part of the recent turnaround comes from Buehrle, who's allowed only seven earned runs over his past five starts.
For the Blue Jays lefty, however, there's no rhyme or reason for his play of late.
"I haven't changed anything. I haven't done anything different," Buehrle said. "Maybe working a little faster with J.P. [Arencibia] and getting on the same schedule. Other than that it's pretty much the same."
• Although Morrow's night ended on a sour note, Jose Reyes' first rehab game went very well.
The Toronto shortstop went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in five innings in the field for Class A Dunedin.
"Reyes had a good day. Felt good," Gibbons said.
• Jose Bautista was back in right field Tuesday after spending the last two games as the club's DH.
Bautista was bothered by some cramping in his legs in Texas, and was a last minute change Monday when it was decided his legs needed another day to rest.
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.