4/13/2014 7:15 P.M. ET
Blue Jays' bats make presence felt in finale
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays got great pitching in the first two games of their series against the O's, but were waiting for their bats to awaken. They did so in a big way on Sunday.
Toronto entered Sunday's series finale batting only .209 as a team, next-to-last in the American League, ahead only of Houston and its anemic .189 average.
The Blue Jays won on Friday, despite only a three-hit effort. They got seven hits on Saturday, but Orioles starter Bud Norris made good pitches at the right times during his seven scoreless innings.
"We're not swinging the bats yet, but he pitched pretty [darn] good," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
The offense gave the Blue Jays four runs or fewer in 10 of the first 12 games. Improvement there would help a pitching staff that's been up to the task much of the time.
If Sunday was any indication, Toronto's bats may be set to awaken from an early season slumber. The Blue Jays pounded out 17 hits in Sunday's 11-3 win over the Orioles. The effort included homers by Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus.
Dickey appreciates Robinson's impact
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays will be in Minnesota on Tuesday when Major League Baseball honors Jackie Robinson in recognition of becoming the first African-American player in the game.
Pitcher R.A. Dickey is a player who knows what Robinson did -- both on and off the field -- and both understands and appreciates it.
Dickey said he's glad to see that Robinson is honored by baseball for all the good that he accomplished, things that still are being felt by our society so many years after the Dodgers' star made his debut in 1947.
"This time of year rolls around every year, and I'm always reminded about just the barriers that he broke, for the betterment of all, really, not just in baseball but for all people," Dickey said. "So I see him much more as a humanitarian than I do as a baseball player -- even though he was a fantastic baseball player.
"The tentacles of what he did reach into the fabric of our culture in a way that I don't know if it could have otherwise been have done. He brought a lot of people together. He opened a lot of people's eyes in a time when it was very hard to do that. It [is] incredible they get to represent him every year on that day."
Injury bug bites Izturis, Rasmus
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays encountered some injury problems during Sunday's 11-3 victory over the Orioles in the series finale at Camden Yards.
Second baseman Maicer Izturis, who was slated to bat seventh in the starting lineup, never made it into the game. He tripped on a stair in the dugout heading to the bat rack to get some things beforehand and felt two pops in his left knee.
Izturis will have an MRI on Monday in Minnesota, and was clearly having problems walking in the locker room afterward. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game.
"I [felt a] pop twice and [felt] pain," Izturis said. "I'm worried about it."
Jonathan Diaz went in for Izturis but played shortstop, while Ryan Goins moved from shortstop to second. Diaz laid down a beautiful suicide squeeze bunt that scored a run in the fourth inning.
Colby Rasmus was a triple shy of the cycle, but came out of the game after his left hamstring tightened up in the sixth inning. Rasmus said he felt it start to tighten up after a running catch he made the inning before, so the Blue Jays decided to be cautious -- although manager John Gibbons didn't seem too worried.
"I don't think it's a big deal," Gibbons said.
Reyes, Janssen head off to Florida
BALTIMORE -- Jose Reyes and Casey Janssen headed to Florida before Sunday's game to begin rehab work, and both could be back with the Blue Jays within days.
Reyes (hamstring) will play in extended spring training on Monday so he can lead off each inning and get a number of at-bats. After that, the shortstop will move to Class A Dunedin to play there.
Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays are hoping Reyes will re-join the team when it starts its weekend series in Cleveland on Friday.
"We're optimistic that will be the day," Gibbons said after Sunday's win over the Orioles. "Hopefully, that's the case."
Reyes has been on the disabled list after being hurt in the first inning of the first game. Janssen (back/abdominal) has been on the DL since March 29, and Gibbons said his situation remains a little less clear.
Gibbons said Janssen will start his work on Monday or Tuesday in Florida, but that they'll just "play it by ear [for] how he looks."
Hutchison continues to look strong early in '14
BALTIMORE -- There was some good news for the Blue Jays in Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Orioles, because Toronto again got some solid starting pitching from Drew Hutchison.
The right-hander threw six scoreless innings and did a good job keeping the strong Baltimore lineup quiet. Hutchison struck out five and walked two, throwing 96 pitches, 57 of which were strikes.
"I was able to make some good pitches, some big pitches early," Hutchison said. "I threw a lot of pitches [early]. But I was able to find a groove in the fifth and the sixth."
Hutchison has been solid in two of his three starts this year. He threw 5 1/3 scoreless frames against the Rays on April 1 in his first start.
"He's got a good idea [of] what he's doing out there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
The start on Saturday was just his third since injuring his elbow on June 15, 2012, and undergoing Tommy John surgery in August of that summer.
The six innings he threw against the Orioles was the first time Hutchison has gone at least that far since May 28, 2012. He's also 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA (two earned runs in 18 innings) versus Baltimore.
• Rasmus' dramatic homer on a 1-2 pitch off of Tommy Hunter with two outs in the top of the ninth on Saturday night was the 100th of the center fielder's career.
• With three home runs on Sunday, Toronto has banged out 16 so far.
• Bautista's homer on Sunday was his American League-leading fifth of the season.
• The Blue Jays optioned catcher Erik Kratz to Triple-A Buffalo after Sunday's game. They will recall infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Buffalo on Tuesday, as well as activate pitcher J.A. Happ, who will rejoin the team in Minnesota. He's currently on the 15-day disabled list with a sore back.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.