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The Globe and Mail

Two Blue Jays suffer injuries in bench-clearing brawl with Yankees

Joaquin Benoit of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates at the end of the eight inning during a MLB game against the New York Yankees on September 25, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Devon Travis had immediate flashbacks to the injury that kept him out for much of last season when he tweaked his shoulder during Monday night's game against the New York Yankees.

After a night of worrying, the Blue Jays second baseman said Tuesday that he doesn't think this injury will be as problematic as his last one.

Travis felt a tweak in his left shoulder during his at-bat in the fourth inning, two innings after he was part of a benches- and bullpens-clearing melee on the field between the two teams.

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"I'm going to be completely honest, I don't even know what happened — I didn't have any acute pain or anything when I first got out of the scrum, my adrenaline was high," Travis said before Toronto's game against Baltimore at Rogers Centre, the first of a crucial three-game series between current American League wild-card holders.

"I walked up to my next at-bat and took a swing and it was there so it definitely happened in the middle of that scrum."

Travis was one of two Blue Jays injured during the fracas, with reliever Joaquin Benoit suffering a calf tear when he tripped while running out of the bullpen.

Toronto selected the contract of right-hander Chris Smith and recalled infielder Andy Burns to help deal with the injuries over the final six games of the regular season. The Jays designated righty Brady Dragmire to make room for Smith on the 40-man.

Gibbons likened Benoit's injury to the one sustained by left-hander Brett Cecil during last year's American League Division Series against Texas. Cecil was on track to return roughly two weeks after the injury had Toronto advanced to the World Series.

"It's a big loss, no doubt about it," Gibbons said of Benoit, who had held opponents to just one run over 23 2/3 innings since he was acquired in a trade with Seattle in July.

"You're not going to see him in the next few days, that's for damn sure," Gibbons added.

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Travis, on the other hand, is hopeful that a day off will be enough for him.

An X-ray revealed that the screws he had implanted in his shoulder during off-season surgery are still in place, which eased much of his initial concern.

The 25-year-old, who's batting .299 with a .331 on-base percentage through 97 games with Toronto this year, repeatedly told reporters he felt "better than yesterday," and called that an encouraging sign.

"I was pretty scared last night," Travis said. "It wasn't a fun injury to go through and to have any flashbacks of it, it's not good. I can move my arm today though. Definitely I feel better than yesterday.

"I think that's the biggest thing was the scare factor," he added. "That was a tough process for me. I don't want to have any flashbacks of that. Just to know something's there again it's a little concerning, but the fact that I feel better today than yesterday is encouraging for sure."

Travis missed 100 games with the lingering shoulder injury in his rookie season last year.

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What started as a sore left collarbone after being hit with a blocked liner spread to his shoulder and turned into a months-long issue for Travis, who underwent two separate surgeries to repair it.

He started the 2016 season on the disabled list before joining the big league team in May.

Monday night's kerfufffle came after a trio of batters from both teams were hit with pitches. Yankees starter Luis Severino hit Josh Donaldson in the first inning, Toronto's J.A. Happ led off the second by hitting Chase Headley and Severino responded in the bottom of the frame by hitting Justin Smoak.

Gibbons said his team has been targeted for much of the season.

"Teams pitch us inside, no doubt about that. We've had some close calls," Gibbons said before rattling off a few instances off the top of his head. "So sometimes you have to deal with things, man. One thing that's key to the success of a team is that they stick together and that's all I'm going to say on that."

Toronto opened Tuesday with a one-game lead on the Orioles for the first AL wild card. Detroit and Seattle were two games back of Baltimore.

While the Orioles and Blue Jays also have some bad blood, Gibbons said he didn't expect any fireworks over the next three days.

"That's in the past," Gibbons said. "These games are too important to both sides."

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