TORONTO -- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill left Tuesday's game against the New York Yankees in the sixth inning with tightness in his right hamstring after stealing second base.
It was his team-leading sixth steal of the season. He was replaced by John McDonald who ran for him and went to second base.
Hill was hampered by a right quadriceps injury during Spring Training, but he opened the season in the starting lineup and there were no signs of that bothering him early in the season.
Reyes stays in rotation, will face Rays on Friday
TORONTO -- When right-hander Jesse Litsch was optioned on Tuesday to Triple-A Las Vegas, it set up the return of Brandon Morrow to the starting rotation on Saturday.
"Everything points to that," manager John Farrell said.
Morrow is still in Florida, where he made his third rehabilitation start Sunday for the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays.
It also means left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes is still on schedule to start Friday's opener of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Jesse being sent out gives us the ability of sending Jo-Jo out to the mound on Friday to begin the Tampa series," Farrell said before Tuesday's game against New York.
Reyes is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA after three starts. Litsch was 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA after three starts.
The move with Litsch was made when right-handed reliever Frank Francisco was reinstated from the disabled list for Tuesday's game against the Yankees.
Litsch had options and Reyes didn't, so it was an easier move to send Litsch down.
In Saturday's start in Boston, Reyes allowed seven hits, five walks and four runs in three innings. He has watched video and worked with pitching coach Bruce Walton on making adjustments.
"I was just a little off in my release point, out in front a little bit," Reyes said before Tuesday's game against New York. "I was making pitches, but when I really needed to, I wasn't able to. In Spring Training, I was getting a lot of [outs on my first two pitches]. It seems like right now they're fouling off a lot of stuff. I've just got to stay with it and just execute pitches."
"He needs to get back to the bottom of the strike zone, as he showed consistently in Spring Training," Farrell said. "[In] the game against the Angels, he was able to settle into a better rhythm, a more consistent delivery to command the bottom of the zone, and it gives his pitch mix the ability to sink, to cut and create some depth to his breaking ball.
"And when he's able to do that, he's a very talented and effective pitcher. From what we've seen in the first three outings, it's the first inning and trying to settle in.
"I think he feels so strong in those situations. He has a tendency to overpower the baseball and he gets long and spread out, and that's where he loses his leverage downhill. But when he's able to stay more relaxed, when he stays within himself and does not overpower the baseball, that's when he's most effective."
Blue Jays activate closer Francisco off DL
TORONTO -- Right-hander Frank Francisco was reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday, but it does not mean he will jump right into the closer's role that was projected to be his in Spring Training.
Manager John Farrell said that both Francisco and Jon Rauch, who has been serving as Toronto's closer, both will be used in late-inning situations.
Matchups could determine how each will be used.
"[Francisco will] be available late in the game," Farrell said before Tuesday's game against the Yankees. "Whether or not he closes, we've got options between he and Rauch to close. We're going to use both in most leverage situations we can. And where the best matchup exists, that could be the ninth, that could be the eighth inning."
So either Francisco or Rauch could close?
"Yes," said Farrell.
The Blue Jays are going with nine pitchers in the bullpen, as right-handed starter Jesse Litsch was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Francisco was put on the disabled list with a shoulder strain late in Spring Training. Francisco made five relief appearances in a rehabilitation assignment for Class A Dunedin, giving up six runs in five innings for a 10.80 ERA.
"We've got confidence in his strike-throwing ability. The power of his stuff is back," Farrell said. "He showed that on rehab, so we wouldn't necessarily hesitate to put him in a situation where again history has shown he has had success against individuals. So we're prepared to make those decisions as they arise."
"Everything is feeling good," Francisco said before the game. "I'm ready to go. I don't really care about velocity. I was throwing my fastball at like 94 [mph], and I think that's good enough to get anybody out. I believe in location and I believe if I put my fastball in the right spot, I'll be successful."
Seeking offense, Farrell bats Snider second
TORONTO -- Left-fielder Travis Snider batted second in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Yankees as the Blue Jays tried to regain some scoring.
In three successive losses against the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were limited to one run in each game.
Snider entered Tuesday's game 3-for-6 with two doubles against New York starter A.J. Burnett.
"He's had some good numbers against A.J.," manager John Farrell said before the game. "I felt like we needed to -- I wouldn't say shake things up completely -- but take a different look at trying to generate some things at the top of the order and still keep the balance without running too much of a string of right-handers throughout the lineup. He still gives us the component that Corey [Patterson] does in that two-hole."
Whether Snider batting second is only for Tuesday or a longer period, Farrell said he would reserve judgment for now.
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.