To me, it is impressive that Jose Bautista returned to the Toronto lineup tonight. Not only did he, but he singled to left in the last of the first to give Toronto a 1-0 lead against the Orioles and Alfredo Simon.
Bautista was hit in the head by a Jake Arrieta pitch in the third inning last night and left the game.
Bautista told MASN’s Gary Thorne that he thought he was able to turn his head just enough at the last second so that he did not feel the full force and energy of the pitch as it hit his batting helmet.
I am glad to see him back in the lineup and Arrieta, according to reports, sent his good wishes to Bautista through Toronto trainers last night. There was clearly no intent on that pitch and I feel certain no one from Toronto feels any retribution is due for that.
The Orioles had been holding Bautista down at bat this year, coming into this game. He entered 3-for-20 with no homers and 2 RBIs against Baltimore pitching in 2011. But he drove in his 71st run of the year his first time up to give the Jays the lead.
No ill effects at all one night after an un-intentional beaning.
Simon has allowed just four earned runs in 13 2/3 over his last two starts. His mound opponent, Ricky Romero is winless in four July starts, going 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA this month.
Updated: A Eric Thames RBI single gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second. It scored Rajai Davis, who singled and stole second and third base. Simon has allowed five hits and has thrown 53 pitches in the first two innings. Toronto has left four on base so far.
Update 2: The Orioles trailed 3-0 tonight going to the eighth. J.P. Arencibia hit a solo homer in the fourth to give the Jays a 3-0 edge. After scoring 12 runs last night, the Orioles had four hits, three singles and a double, through seven against Romero. Alfredo Simon gave up three runs and seven hits over five innings, throwing 103 pitches before being replaced by Chris Jakubauskas to start the last of the sixth.