Jose Bautista called “day-to-day” with twisted right ankle

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Down goes “Joey Bats.”

According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had to be pulled from Thursday’s second-half opener against the Yankees after injuring his right ankle while running the bases.

Bautista initially tweaked the ankle while trucking down the first base line and made it worse when he performed a hard slide into the third base bag. He made it off the field and into the Rogers Centre clubhouse under his own power, but he was limping badly and looked to be in a good amount of pain.

John McDonald entered to play third base.

Bautista, 30, was 1-for-2 with a walk before exiting. He was the leading vote-getter in this year’s All-Star balloting after opening the season with a 1.170 OPS, 31 homers and 65 RBI through his first 84 games.

UPDATE, 9:02 PM: Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Bautista only has a “twisted” ankle and is considered day-to-day. The third baseman is likely to sit out multiple games to be safe.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.