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Bautista held out another day with back spasms

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday with back spasms.

The Toronto slugger continues to be ailed by minor injuries early in the season and has now missed five games this season while appearing in only nine.

However, the Blue Jays insist the injury is minor.

"The [doctors] don't think it's that big of a deal," manager John Gibbons said. "I don't want to sound like a broken record because we said that about his ankle, [but we want to] knock it out so it doesn't become an issue."

Bautista missed a three-game homestand against Boston earlier in the year with a sprained right ankle -- an injury the team had also hoped would only make the 32-year-old miss one game.

But, as has been the protocol early in the season, general manager Alex Anthopoulos and his coaching staff continually take the most conservative route when it comes to dealing with minor ailments.

"You never know with backs but [the doctors are] not very worried," Gibbons said. "And until you get on the turf, that can aggravate it a little more, so maybe an extra day more would be a little better."

The good news for the Blue Jays is that Gibbons said before first pitch that Bautista should be available to pinch-hit if the club needs him, and could return to the lineup on Wednesday.

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for
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