TORONTO -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s (Yunito) streak of multihit games came to an end on Friday night after the versatile infielder returned from the disabled list.
Gurriel went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts during the Blue Jays' 4-2 victory over the Phillies. It was Gurriel's first game since July 29, when he sustained a high left ankle sprain and a Grade 1 left knee sprain in a game against the White Sox.
The 24-year-old's streak of 11 consecutive games with multiple hits is the longest all-time by a rookie and the longest in franchise history. The streak also finished tied for the longest in American League history.:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
"It's disappointing he didn't get it tonight, but that is such a tough record," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He snuck that one hit in to keep his hitting streak going. I probably can't describe it right, because it's such a difficult thing to do.
"All it says is the kid can hit. He missed quite a bit of time, and that never helps, but it was getting to the point where you looked at the guys who have done what he has done -- it just tells you how tough it is. Pretty impressive."
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Gurriel was the seventh player since 1900 to have a multihit streak of at least 11 games and the first since Tony Perez in '73. Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby holds the all-time multihit streak at 13 games, while Tony Fernandez was the previous record holder for Toronto with nine.
In 39 games this season, Gurriel is batting .320 with an .835 OPS, seven home runs and 23 RBIs. Gurriel is expected to receive an extended look at shortstop and likely will receive some starts at second base over the final six weeks of the regular season.
Richard Urena, who was optioned to the Minor Leagues in a corresponding move, has appeared in 20 games for the Blue Jays so far this season. He is a candidate to return later as a September callup after hitting .273 with a .742 OPS in 44 big league at-bats.
"I just feel good, feel happy that I'm feeling good and back with my teammates," Gurriel said through an interpreter before Friday's game. "I don't pay too much attention [to the streak]. I'll just try and do the same thing I was doing before."
Sanchez cleared to start
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez threw a bullpen session at Rogers Centre on Thursday and has since been cleared to make Saturday's start against the Phillies. Sanchez has been out since June 21 because of a right middle finger contusion that he sustained during a freak accident involving luggage.
Sanchez recently completed his rehab assignment with 4 1/3 innings for Double-A New Hampshire on Monday. Sanchez allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks. He threw just 42 of his 86 pitches for strikes, but stressed that he was treating the start like Spring Training and was more worried about certain aspects of his repertoire rather than the results.
"I don't get attached to the numbers in rehab starts," Sanchez said. "I'm out there to make sure I'm working on what I need to work on. I'm throwing changeups and curveballs in counts that I'd never throw, but I have 80 pitches to work on what I need to work on, and Gibby said this in Spring Training about my changeup, 'It's not going to just magically come, you have to throw it.' That's what rehab is about."
Status quo for Donaldson
Another day came and went on Thursday with no medical update on injured third baseman Josh Donaldson. The Blue Jays have been hoping to work out a Donaldson trade before the end of the month, but time is starting to run out because he cannot be placed on waivers until the former AL MVP begins an official rehab assignment.
Donaldson has posted videos to social media of himself running at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla. Toronto also said at the beginning of the month that Donaldson was beginning to increase the intensity of his running drills in preparation for a return to game action, but as of Thursday it had yet to happen.
The Blue Jays have been saying all along that once cleared, Donaldson will not require a lengthy rehab. He is expected to return after a game or two in the Minor Leagues, but with players needing to be acquired by Aug. 31 to be eligible for postseason play there is not much time left to waste.