Lawrie goes yard in Pacific Northwest debut

Lawrie goes yard in Pacific Northwest debut

Lawrie goes yard in Pacific Northwest debut
SEATTLE -- It's listed as a road game on the schedule, but for Brett Lawrie, Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Mariners was a homecoming of sorts.

The third baseman was slotted in the No. 7 hole for the third consecutive game. Lawrie began his Major League career hitting ninth, but Blue Jays manager John Farrell opted to move him up because of the rookie's early success and his versatility at the plate.

Lawrie responded by belting a solo homer in his second at-bat off Mariners starter Michael Pineda, the third of his career.

Lawrie grew up in Langley, British Columbia, which is approximately a two-hour drive from Seattle. More than 100 friends and family members made the trip down to watch Lawrie make his debut on the West Coast.

They were joined by members of the Canadian media. That created another buzz, but it's nothing new for Lawrie, who has had to deal with that type of attention since arriving in the big leagues on Aug. 5.

"I think once between the lines, it's time to go," Lawrie said when asked how he deals with the exposure. "But you have to be humble, you have to be great to the fans, you have to be great to your teammates.

"One of the things is never forgetting where you came from, knowing your roots, trying to stay on that even plane, just remember who you are and be a good teammate and person."

Lawrie doesn't appear to be the type of person who has forgotten his roots. His hometown team in Langley recently won the Canadian Little League Championship to advance to the Little League World Series.

Toronto's rookie third baseman sent a note to the team, congratulating them on the win. It was a little extra-special for Lawrie, because the team is under the guidance of his former coach, Jason Andrew.

"That was very good to see," Lawrie said. "[Andrew] coached me a long time ago. Hats off to those guys, they're going to have a blast out there. I went to the Cal Ripken World Series when I was 11 and I had a blast."

Farrell also had some fun with the media from British Columbia. He especially enjoyed a question about Lawrie's level of intensity on the field and how it might compare to that of a football player.

"Let's be sure, for all the Canadian media, that it's a hockey mentality," Farrell joked. "But yeah, he's a high-energy player and the one thing that we talk about as a staff, with Alex [Anthopoulos] and the entire front office, we want to be sure that players are themselves and they don't have to feel they have to be someone other than who they are."

Lawrie is hitting .343 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 10 games.