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.