"That's where it becomes hard, when you start playing Interleague," Gaston said. "You leave a guy out that hit 35 home runs last year."
Lind doubles as a left fielder when he is not serving as Toronto's DH, and Gaston said he will likely use him in left for most of the Interleague games in National League cities. For Friday's game, Gaston said the decision to give Lind the day off boiled down to the numbers some of his other players have put up against D-backs starter Dan Haren.
Fred Lewis, who played for the Giants in the NL before joining the Jays this season, entered hitting .421 (8-for-19) in his career against Haren and got the nod in left field. His first at-bat? A home run over the right-field fence to lead off the game.
Jose Bautista -- starting in right field -- entered with just one walk in his career against Haren, but has hit .353 over his past 11 games, and continued his hot hitting with a solo homer to left.
Lind was not left out of the Jays' party, however. He connected for a pinch-hit solo homer -- Toronto's sixth of the game -- to cut the D-backs' lead to two runs in the ninth inning, but Arizona held on for the 8-6 victory.
Gaston could have given Bautista a start at third base, creating a situation where Lewis could have manned right and Lind left. Instead of using that alignment, Gaston slotted Edwin Encarnacion (2-for-5 in his career against Haren) into the lineup at third base. Lind has never faced Haren in his career.
"I just looked at some numbers," Gaston said. "It gives Lind a day off, but I'll get him back in there [on Saturday]. For the most part, he'll be in there."
Lind, who carried a .151 average for the month of May into the series with Arizona, said Gaston did not talk to him about how his playing time would be managed during Interleague Play. Even so, Lind said he was not surprised to see he was not in Friday's lineup.
"Not really," Lind said. "All our outfielders are doing a great job. I'll be ready. That's all I can do -- be ready."
Asked if a day off might benefit him in light of his recent struggles, Lind shrugged.
"I guess, but I'm not asking for one," he replied.