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.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.