Rested Blue Jays' bullpen picking up slack

Rested Blue Jays' bullpen picking up slack

Rested Blue Jays' bullpen picking up slack

SEATTLE -- Toronto manager John Gibbons did not have to lean heavily on Tuesday's starter Josh Johnson because of a rested bullpen. Instead of pushing Johnson an extra inning, Gibbons went to the bullpen for the final four frames to close out the win.

The Blue Jays have received quality innings from their starters the past few days. But when a starter has struggled, relievers have been able to eat up a chunk of innings, like Brad Lincoln did on Saturday when he worked the final three innings against the Angels. Thursday's off-day will also help keep the bullpen rested.

Even though the bullpen lost All-Star Steve Delabar when he was placed on the disabled list on Sunday due to shoulder inflammation, Sergio Santos' return from the 60-day disabled list last Thursday has been a welcome addition.

"He's looked good these two outings he's had," Gibbons said of Santos, who's allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings since his return. "Two innings the other day in Anaheim and then yesterday. He's throwing strikes and that's the key for him. He feels good."

In Wednesday's 9-7 loss to the Mariners, Aaron Loup was tagged with the loss after allowing a two-run homer to Humberto Quintero to break a 7-7 tie. Lincoln followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings despite walking three, and veteran Darren Oliver allowed only one hit in 1 2/3 innings.

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