Ian Kinsler, hitlesss in his last 13 at-bats and batting .114 in his last nine games, was out of the Rangers' lineup for Thursday's 10-6 win over the Yankees. He was ejected in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss "It looks like [Kinsler]'s a little sluggish," manager Ron Washington said. "He's missing pitches that he normally hits. His bat looks a little heavy. I'm going to give him a day off after a night game, and maybe that will rejuvenate him." Washington expressed concern about his team playing on the artificial surface at Rogers Centre this weekend. The Rangers lost two of three games against the Blue Jays in Toronto earlier this season but swept them in a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark during May. "It's tough, but we only have three games there, so somebody will have to suck it up," Washington said. Six of the Rangers' next 23 games will be played on an artificial surface; they'll also travel to St. Petersburg for a three-game series against the Rays in the beginning of September.
Blue Jays: Bautista inching closer to rehab assignment
The banged-up Blue Jays finally have a bit of good news with the announcement that star right fielder Jose Bautista could begin a rehab assignment as early as Monday.
Out since July 16, when he strained his left wrist during a swing against the Yankees, Bautista was scheduled to spend time in the batting cages and take swings with off a tee and with a fungo bat.
"After [Thursday] and potentially an off-day [Friday] then it's assumed at this point, or tentatively planned, that he would take live BP on the field for a couple of days and then we're looking at getting him in games after that," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Bautista will reportedly take batting practice on the field Saturday and Sunday and would likely need about three or four games in the Minors to be ready.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie is expected to appear in rehab games for Class A Dunedin over the weekend and could return to Toronto's lineup by Tuesday.
Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from Toronto's lineup Thursday because of soreness in his left forearm and shoulder. He attempted to make a diving catch in left field on Wednesday against the White Sox when the injury happened. He is listed as day to day.Worth noting
The Rangers are 4-2 against the Blue Jays this season heading into this three-game set, having swept Toronto when the two clubs last met. The last time Texas had a winning record against the Blue Jays was in 2006, when it won four of six. Since then, the Rangers are 25-29 against the Blue Jays.
Geovany Soto has two hits in three career at-bats against Happ. He's the only Rangers player with multiple at-bats against Happ.