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Bautista twists ankle, expects to play Friday

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was forced to leave Thursday night's game versus Cleveland in the ninth inning because of a minor right ankle injury.

Bautista twisted his ankle while attempting to beat out a double play ball in the bottom of the eighth inning. He temporarily remained in the game, but was eventually lifted for Rajai Davis, who came in as the defensive replacement.

The injury is considered relatively minor and Bautista sounds optimistic that he won't be forced to miss any time.

"My right ankle might be a little irritated, a little tiny tweak," Bautista said following the Blue Jays' 10-8 victory. "When I hit the bag I kind of jammed my foot. But I don't expect anything serious to come out of this.

"I have to wait until tomorrow to see how it feels when I wake up but I don't expect to miss any time because of it. So hopefully tomorrow, I'll wake up great, be in the lineup, and go beat the Red Sox."

The Blue Jays can ill afford to lose Bautista for any prolonged period of time. He has homered in back-to-back games and appears to be showing no ill effects from the wrist injury that prematurely ended his 2013 campaign.

There may have been a moment or two when there was some nervousness that Bautista might have done something serious to his ankle, but that was ruled out relatively quickly.

"We came in, took a look at it, and it's good to go," Bautista said. "Just a little soreness and that happens, play a long season you're going to have your pains and aches here and there so it's nothing serious."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.
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