Blue Jays smack five homers, but lose tight one to Braves

Blue Jays smack five homers, but lose tight one to Braves

TORONTO -- Two eighth-inning home runs gave the Braves the boost they needed to claim an Interleague series-opening 8-7 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

Jonny Gomes went deep with a pinch-hit solo shot to break a 5-5 tie before Freddie Freeman sent a two-run shot over the wall to knock reliever Brett Cecil from the game and give the Braves necessary padding.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes out until at least Tuesday

Blue Jays shortstop dealing with cracked rib, muscle strain

Reyes out until at least Tuesday

TORONTO -- For the third consecutive April, an injury will force Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes to miss game action.

This time, it's a muscle strain combined with a cracked rib, which will keep Reyes out until at least Tuesday.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martin halts slump with two HRs

Toronto catcher entered game in 0-for-22 skid

Martin halts slump with two HRs

TORONTO -- Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin belted a pair of home runs Friday night, snapping an 0-for-22 skid in an 8-7 loss to the Braves.

It marked Martin's ninth career multi-homer game, with his most recent one coming April 9, 2014, for the Pirates against the Cubs.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hutchison again exits before finishing five innings

Blue Jays righty gets support from bats, but unable to harness command

Hutchison again exits before finishing five innings

TORONTO --- For the second time in as many starts, Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchinson couldn't get out of the fifth inning.

Hutchinson allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings while striking out six and walking three. He picked up a no-decision in his second straight start in the Blue Jays' 8-7 loss to the Braves on Friday night.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After rough start, Dickey out to rebound against Braves

After rough start, Dickey out to rebound against Braves

Veteran Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey takes the Rogers Centre mound against the Braves on Saturday afternoon, looking to bounce back from a rough outing.

Dickey walked home a pair of runs in the Blue Jays' 2-1 loss to the Rays on Monday. The right-hander walked five and balked for the first time since 2013.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Things get heated between Blue Jays and Rays after hit by pitches

Things get heated between Blue Jays and Rays after hit by pitches

TORONTO -- Mark Buehrle and Chris Archer appeared to be shouting at each other from their respective dugouts after Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch from Blue Jays reliever Marco Estrada.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning of the Rays' 4-2 series-clinching victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday at Rogers Centre.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays lose Reyes, series to Rays

Blue Jays lose Reyes, series to Rays

TORONTO -- Rays starter Chris Archer pitched seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay offense did the rest in a 4-2 series-clinching victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Thursday.

The right-hander two-hit the Blue Jays and struck out 11 to improve to 2-1 on the season. He's given up only six earned runs in 36 1/3 career innings in Toronto, lowering his ERA here over six starts to 1.49.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goins rejoins Blue Jays from Buffalo; Redmond designated

Goins rejoins Blue Jays from Buffalo; Redmond designated

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are down to seven relievers after right-hander Todd Redmond was designated for assignment on Thursday afternoon to make room for infielder Ryan Goins.

Goins, who in six games with Triple-A Buffalo was hitting .350 with a double and three RBIs, gives Toronto depth up the middle. The 27-year-old appeared in 67 games for the Blue Jays in 2014, posting a .188 average with one homer and 15 RBIs.

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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.

Pillar impersonates Spidey, robs Beckham of homer

Pillar impersonates Spidey, robs Beckham of homer

TORONTO -- Step aside Rajai Davis, there's a new Spider-Man in town.

In what seems to have become part of his daily routine, Blue Jays left fielder Kevin Pillar made yet another jaw-dropping catch on Wednesday night. This time, it involved scaling the 10-foot-high fence at Rogers Centre to take a home run away from Rays second baseman Tim Beckham.

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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.

Blue Jays' bats erupt in rout of Rays

Blue Jays' bats erupt in rout of Rays

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista, Devon Travis and Dalton Pompey each homered while Josh Donaldson enjoyed a three-hit night as the Blue Jays scored early and often in an 12-7 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre on Jackie Robinson Day.

Bautista got things started in the first inning with a two-run shot to left, and Toronto never looked back. Kevin Pillar, Travis and Donaldson each doubled while Edwin Encarnacion was the only member of the starting lineup to not reach base at least once.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Learning on the go, Travis impressing Blue Jays

Learning on the go, Travis impressing Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Devon Travis has turned out to be everything the Blue Jays had hoped for and more since they acquired the young infielder from the Tigers in the offseason.

After playing all of 2013 at Double-A Erie, there was an assumption that Travis would need more seasoning in the Minors before he'd be ready to make the jump to the big leagues. But through nine games with Toronto this season, the club's starting rookie second baseman looks right at home at the plate and in the field.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donaldson effective from No. 2 spot

Blue Jays dominate with 12 runs with new lineup

Donaldson effective from No. 2 spot

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will probably want to stick with his new lineup for a little while after the Blue Jays erupted for 12 runs in their 12-7 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

Prior to the game, Gibbons moved Josh Donaldson into the second spot of the batting order. The decision paid immediate dividends when Donaldson singled in the first and came around to score on a two-run homer by Jose Bautista.

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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.

Blue Jays reflect on equality, honor Robinson

Club wears No. 42, remembers significance of breaking colour barrier

Blue Jays reflect on equality, honor Robinson

TORONTO -- Sometimes, when Dalton Pompey is having a rough day at the plate or in the field, he'll take time to reflect on how lucky he and his teammates are to be able to play baseball for a living.

On Wednesday, those reflections turned to Jackie Robinson, who 68 years ago broke the colour barrier and changed baseball forever.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late miscue, lack of production at plate sink Blue Jays

Late miscue, lack of production at plate sink Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo homer in the first inning and scored the winning run in the eighth as the Rays edged the Blue Jays, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre for their fourth straight win.

Souza crushed his first home run of the season off Blue Jays starter Daniel Norris, sending the first pitch to the third deck in straightaway center field for an early 1-0 Rays lead.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scuffling at plate, Martin makes costly throwing error

Scuffling at plate, Martin makes costly throwing error

TORONTO -- Catcher Russell Martin's struggles at the plate were compounded by a costly throwing error in the Blue Jays' 3-2 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

The veteran catcher short-hopped a throw when the Rays' Steven Souza Jr. attempted to swipe second base in the eighth inning of a tie game. The ball bounced into center field, allowing Souza to advance to third before he scored the winning run on a sac fly. Martin was also 0-for-4 and extended his hitless streak to 21 at-bats.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris displays fortitude, gives Blue Jays chance to win

Rookie lefty relies on changeup, which he worked on in Spring Training

Norris displays fortitude, gives Blue Jays chance to win

TORONTO -- On a night when Daniel Norris didn't have his best stuff, the Blue Jays' rookie left-hander still found a way to get the job done.

Norris didn't have a whole lot working for him during Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Rays. The life on his fastball wasn't quite there, he tried to compensate by overthrowing at times and the overall command was lacking. Those are the negatives.

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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.

Blue Jays players say new home turf slows ball down

Rays able to cut off Reyes' RBI double in gap before it reaches wall

Blue Jays players say new home turf slows ball down

TORONTO -- After just two games, the Blue Jays aren't prepared to definitively weigh in on how the new playing surface at Rogers Centre will affect them in the batter's box, on the field or on the basepaths. But the new surface did factor into their 3-2 loss to the Rays at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night.

Jose Reyes' game-tying double in the fourth inning died in the right-center-field gap, allowing Rays outfielders to cut off the ball before it reached the wall. That ultimately held up the go-ahead run at third base as the two sides entered the fifth tied at 2.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays in no hurry to return to seven-man bullpen

Gibbons wants to take longer look at relievers

Blue Jays in no hurry to return to seven-man bullpen

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still don't have a firm date for when they will return to a seven-man bullpen.

Toronto has been carrying an extra reliever since the start of the season. The plan is to drop one and go back to the traditional number, but there are a series of factors at play before a decision can be made.

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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.

Dickey's five walks spell trouble vs. Rays

Dickey's five walks spell trouble vs. Rays

TORONTO -- Right-hander Jake Odorizzi tossed eight stellar innings to outduel knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and lead the Rays to a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Rogers Centre, spoiling Toronto's home opener.

Odorizzi carried a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed a total of two hits while striking out three. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 2/3 innings this season. Dickey yielded two runs over six innings, but he was plagued by five walks, including two in the fourth inning with the bases loaded.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Blue Jays' ninth-inning rally thwarted by DP

Blue Jays' ninth-inning rally thwarted by DP

TORONTO -- With the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth, the Rays got a much needed strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to help seal a 2-1 win over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Rogers Centre.

After Jose Bautista drew a leadoff walk from Brad Boxberger, the count went full against Edwin Encarnacion. That's when Bautista took off running, Boxberger struck out Encarnacion on a high fastball, and catcher Rene Rivera threw out Bautista at second.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Knuckling under: Dickey foiled by command issues

Knuckling under: Dickey foiled by command issues

TORONTO -- One of R.A. Dickey's top priorities this season is limiting his number of walks, but he didn't have much luck in that area during the home opener on Monday night.

Dickey came within one of matching a career high by walking five during the Blue Jays' 2-1 loss to the Rays at Rogers Centre. The biggest issue came in the fourth inning when he walked David DeJesus and Steven Souza Jr. with the bases loaded.

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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.

Manfred open to All-Star Game in Toronto

Commissioner discusses several issues, including scoring, pace of play

Manfred open to All-Star Game in Toronto

TORONTO -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has left the door open to the possibility of the Blue Jays hosting an All-Star Game in the not-so-distant future.

Manfred discussed the issue during a news conference prior to the Blue Jays' home opener against the Rays on Monday. He didn't get into specifics, but the Commissioner indicated the league would be willing to explore various scenarios with the organization.

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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.

Jose Bautista flips his bat after drawing a walk

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Jose Bautista flips his bat after drawing a walk

It's important to take pride in your work. Instead of merely celebrating after big occasions, you should reward yourself after small successes. It's why I routinely spray my apartment with champagne after writing typo-free emails. 

Jose Bautista knows this well. Which is why he gave this flashy bat flip after drawing a walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. This is a bat flip that says, "I know I, ostensibly, didn't do much. But this walk is the result of years of training to refine my batting eye along with a consistency at the plate that ensures that pitchers don't want to throw me fat meatballs."

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Tight hamstring affecting Saunders' knee rehab

Tight hamstring affecting Saunders' knee rehab

TORONTO -- Right hamstring tightness shouldn't stall Michael Saunders' recovery for more than a few days, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said prior to Monday's home opener against the Rays.

Saunders was removed from his rehab game on Sunday with Class A Advanced Dunedin.

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Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Three blasts hand Blue Jays series victory over O's

Three blasts hand Blue Jays series victory over O's

BALTIMORE -- Jose Reyes went 3-for-5 and Blue Jays rookie Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista each delivered two-run homers to lead Toronto to a 10-7 slugfest series win over Baltimore on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Kevin Pillar added a solo shot for the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays (4-2) and their lethal lineup rebounded a night removed from scoring just one run, capitalizing on a fielding error by O's outfielder Travis Snider to score seven runs over the first three innings and chase starter Chris Tillman from the game.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.