Bautista, Gibbons, Koskie, Molitor, Travis
By Bob Elliott
John Gibbons stuck with DeMarlo Hale’s new-look lineup Friday night. Or was it Jose Bautista’s lineup.
Whatever, Jose Baustista was hitting in the lead-off spot, followed by Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders Friday night.
“You win game, you always think it looks good,” Gibbons told reporters. The Jays had nine hits in 11 innings Thursday in a 3-2 win. The Jays won with four hits in their final at-bat meaning five hits in the first 10 innings.
“We talked about it at home for the final game of the Tampa Bay series, Jose was willing to move up but then we decided to give Josh Donaldson the night off and start here,” Gibbons said.
Bautista is loosing out on RBI opportunities hitting lead-off instead of in the No. 3 spot.
“Where have you been, don’t you realize that the RBI doesn’t mean anything any more?”
Gibbons said with a tongue planted firmly in his cheek.
Gibbons explained how every team hits stretches where it struggles.
“When you’re struggling, you try different things, especially offensively, the big thing is how do you construct your offence? It’s more under a microscope now than probably ever in the history of the game,” Gibbons said. “So we’ve been talking, if we adjust this, adjust that. You’ve got to remember, too, you get certain guys that hit in certain spots and they’re very good at it. It’s not as easy as everybody thinks.
"People who keep track of batting with runners in scoring position are basically keeping track of RBIs."
IN THE DUGOUT: Gibbons was back in his usual spot after serving the final game of a three-game suspension for going back onto the field after he had been ejected Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Tex.
He watched Thursday’s game from the team hotel.
“They only had a booth for us in the press box level and you can’t sit there and I can’t stay in the clubhouse,” said Gibbons, who watched the final two games of the Tampa Bay series from a box.
HALL OF FAMERS: Twins Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, a member in good standing in Cooperstown, was chatting with former Twin third baseman Corey Koskie, who was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys last year.
Koskie, who lives in nearby Wayzata, Minn. has sold his two Planet Fitness franchises and had two of his sons at the game: shortstop Joshua, 13 and lefty Caleb, 10. Lefty Bradley, 16, and Smauel, six did not make the travel squad.
ON THE MEND: Second baseman Devon Travis, who had three hits in his first rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo was hitless in five at-bats with a strike out in a 6-5 win over Pawtucket before 8,182 fans at Coca-Cola Field.
Jio Mier singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth to score Alexi Casilla.
SUSPENDED: David Harris was suspended 76 games for a positive test for a growth hormone releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2), a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. A 36th round pick from Southern Arkansas in 2013, Harris was hitting .183 with a homer and 10 RBIs in 21 games with Class-A Dunedin. A year ago he batted .256 with six home runs and 37 RBIs spending time between Dunedin and Class-A Lansing.