Travis makes resounding return to Blue Jays' lineup
Back from rib injury, 2B goes 3-for-4 with decisive HR to continue pleasantly surprising power surge
TORONTO -- Devon Travis made his return to the Blue Jays' lineup with a bang on Wednesday night, and it's pretty clear that a rib cage injury isn't about to slow him down any time soon.
Travis missed Tuesday's game with bruised ribs after being hit by a pitch from Atlanta's Shelby Miller over the weekend. He has been in noticeable discomfort over the past couple of days, but there were no signs of it once he got the go-ahead to play.
Toronto's rookie second baseman went 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and a run scored, while collecting his first Major League stolen base, in a 4-2 victory over the Orioles. He's now hitting .388 in 14 games this season and soon could be making a case for the American League Rookie of the Month honor.
"He has a great approach, he has a great idea of the strike zone," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "But I can't say that's surprising because we heard that when we got him. He's got that short stroke, he's a line-drive guy. His timing is going to be more consistent than the guys with the bigger swings."
Travis arrived in the big leagues this season with the reputation of having a plus bat, but the amount of power he has displayed so far has caught a lot of people off guard. He hit 10 home runs in 100 games with Double-A Erie last year, but already has four through the opening 2 1/2 weeks of this season.
The 24-year-old doesn't really have an explanation for the surge in home runs, and he also doesn't have much of an explanation for his lightning-quick start to the year. For now, he's not going to read too much into anything and intends to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.
Travis' teammates will do the same as well, especially while the energetic middle infielder keeps coming through with big hits. On Wednesday, it was Travis' two-run shot in the fifth inning off right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez that proved to be the difference.
"I don't know, I don't know what's happening," Travis said while searching for an answer to the sudden power. "That's just a blessing, because I don't know where the heck that's coming from. I don't know if I've ever hit four home runs in  games. Just trying to get pitches to hit, crazy."