Donaldson, Bautista have injury scares
Blue Jays 3B passes concussion tests; outfielder says he's OK after cramp
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson's status for Game 2 of the best-of-five American League Division Series is up in the air after the star third baseman suffered a head injury during a collision at second base Thursday afternoon.
Donaldson was attempting to break up a double play in the fourth inning of Game 1 when he made a high slide into second base. Texas infielder Rougned Odor attempted to jump over Donaldson but instead kneed him on the side of the head. Toronto went on to lose, 5-3, at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays announced that Donaldson passed all concussion tests and will be re-evaluated prior to today's Game 2 (12:30 p.m. ET, MLB Network/Sportsnet). Jose Bautista also left Game 1 in the ninth inning with cramping in his right hamstring but he confirmed after the game he would play today.
"Precautionary -- they check for concussions and he apparently passed all the tests, so that's good news," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the game about Donaldson. "We'll see how he is tomorrow."
Donaldson initially remained in the game after the incident at second and went out to play defense in the top of the fifth inning. But when his spot in the order came around in the bottom half, he was removed. Ezequiel Carrera entered as a pinch-hitter and Donaldson was replaced at third base by Cliff Pennington.
The injury to Donaldson was the second of the game involving an All-Star third baseman. Texas' Adrian Beltre had to be removed in the third inning after he experienced lower-back stiffness while attempting to break up a double play in the first inning.
Donaldson, who was 0-for-1 with a walk, rarely has been forced to deal with any health issues in his career. He appeared in 158 games during each of the last three seasons, and two of those games missed in 2015 happened after the Blue Jays clinched the AL East and Gibbons rested his regular lineup.
"I think that was something that was out of his control," Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar said of Donaldson leaving the game. "I think any time you have an impact to the head, I think it's out of the player's hands, out of the trainer's hands, I think that's the Major League Baseball rule that you have to go through concussion protocol.
"I think he ended up with a little welt on his head after breaking up the double play but he seemed fine, and I came in here and talked to him and naturally he was upset that he wasn't able to finish the game."
If Donaldson is forced to miss additional time, Pennington likely would become the primary option at third. The only way Donaldson can be replaced on the roster by another player is if he's also ruled out for a potential AL Championship Series as well.
Bautista gave Blue Jays fans another scare when he didn't come out for the ninth inning and was replaced in right field by Dalton Pompey. After the game, Bautista told reporters that everything was fine and he would not miss any time.
"Just felt a little cramp on the swing," Bautista said. "The situation of the game right there, ninth inning, for me to get back to the plate would have taken a big enough rally that we would have got enough runs to get the win and it made no sense for me to go out to right field to play defense and aggravate it. I should be ready to go tomorrow and that's about it."