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With Fowler out, Porter shuffles lineup

TORONTO -- Manager Bo Porter shuffled his lineup for Tuesday's series opener against the Blue Jays, starting at the top.

Porter, who inserted outfielder Robbie Grossman into the leadoff spot, said he has had a difficult time setting his lineup since center fielder Dexter Fowler, who has missed five consecutive games, went down with a stomach virus.

"It causes a ripple throughout the whole lineup," Porter said.

Porter said the decision to put Grossman in the leadoff spot, and bump Jose Altuve up to the two-hole, was done so he could slot Jesus Guzman in as the club's No. 3 hitter. Guzman hadn't hit higher than fourth this season before Tuesday.

"It was more important to get Guzman into the three-hole more than anything else," Porter explained. "He is swinging the bat well."

Guzman entered Tuesday's game hitting .300 with two homers and an .895 OPS.

Grossman, meanwhile, had made all 29 of his plate appearances out of the No. 2 spot in the order prior to Tuesday's contest. The 24-year-old entered the game batting just .077, but Porter expects him to turn things around in short order.

"I think he can be a little bit more aggressive," Porter said. "But Robbie is going to be fine ... we have all the confidence in the world in him. We believe that this little funk that he's in, he's going to come out of it and be a good player for us."

Chris Toman is a contributor to
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