When Edwin Encarnacion clubbed his team-leading 14th home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, there was the usual explosion of celebration throughout the Blue Jays dugout.
For one player, however, the feeling was just a bit muted.
“I’m not going to lie, definitely my gut kind of wrenched up a little bit,” Toronto centrefielder Colby Rasmus said after the Blue Jays had secured a 9-3 win over the Braves at Rogers Centre. “But that’s the game.”
It is not that Rasmus is a turncoat or anything.
It had more to do with the fact that Encarnacion’s bomb came at the expense of Atlanta relief pitcher Cory Rasmus, Colby’s younger brother who only made his Major League debut last week for the Braves.
The two brothers went at it, head to head, later in the inning with Colby – who is about 15 months older – also winning that battle, stroking a double into the left-field corner.
“Like I said before, it was a strange feeling, a lot of emotions going on,” Colby Rasmus said about battling his kid brother. “It was awesome and terrible at the same time.”
Cory Rasmus said he wasn’t feeling the same kind of angst as his brother.
“It’s not the outcome you wanted,” he said. “It was still awesome.”
Overall it was a good night for the Blue Jays, who are now 3-0 against the National League this season, outscoring their opponents 30-12 in the process.
Pitcher Mark Buehrle (2-3) recorded his fifth quality start, allowing one Atlanta run off five hits over six innings while striking out six.
“Getting strike one, keeping the ball down, making them swing at stuff out of the zones is the key to success for me,” Buehrle said.
The Blue Jays also may have dodged a bit of a bullet in sixth inning after Brett Lawrie, whose actions of late have not exactly endeared him to the team, injured his left ankle on an awkward slide stealing second base in the sixth inning.
The third baseman had to come out of the game but afterward said he felt the ankle felt pretty good all things considered.
“It’s actually not too bad, I can walk around a little bit,” Lawrie said after the game. “It’s just that spring off point when I go like to take off. It’s a little stiff right now but it’s expected because it’s just happened. Just got to ice it up and see what it’s like when I wake up tomorrow.”
Lawrie generated headlines following Sunday’s game when he became visibly upset on a coaching decision by third base coach Luis Rivera who held the runner at third base after he lifted what he thought should have been a sacrifice fly to right field.
The score was 5-3 for the Baltimore Orioles at the time with runners at both first and third and none out.
Toronto manager John Gibbons had words with Lawrie in the dugout afterwards and after the game the third baseman initially tried to pass it off as getting caught up in the moment.
On Monday, however, Lawrie apologized to his teammates before the Atlanta game but would not discuss the situation further with reporters.
After the Atlanta game, reporters were told that Lawrie would be answering questions only about the ankle injury he sustained, and nothing else.