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The Globe and Mail

Depleted by injuries, Jays starting lineup features just one opening day player

Toronto Blue Jays base runner Edwin Encarnacion (10) is congratulated after scoring a run during the eleventh inning of their MLB game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland August 4, 2012.


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, your Triple A Toronto Blue Jays.

That could very well be the PA's announcer's introductory call for Sunday's game against the New York Yankees where the Blue Jays will have just one player who was in the starting lineup from opening day in Edwin Encarnacion.

The Blue Jays will utilize a lineup that features six players who have been minor-league call-ups this season in an attempt to knock off the first-place Yankees and curtail a five-game losing streak.

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Mike McCoy, a Triple-A call-up on Saturday, will get the start at second base in place of Kelly Johnson, who is still battling a sore groin.

Minor-league hotshot Adeiny Hechavarria will make is Major League starting debut in his natural position at shortstop in place of Yunel Escobar, who was hit twice by pitches in Saturday's game and remains sore.

The other minor-leaguer call-up who will start on Saturday will be David Cooper at first base, Moises Sierra in right field, Yan Gomes at third base and Anthony Gose will be in centre.

Backup catcher Mike Mathis will start behind the plate, utility outfielder Rajai Davis in left, with Encarnacion handling the designated hitter duties.

Quite a bit of difference," Toronto manager John Farrell understated said before the game, when comparing his Sunday lineup to the one that he was able to start the season with.

With all the injuries the Blue Jays have suffered this season, they can almost be forgiven for their recent struggles that have effectively snuffed out their chances of contending for a wildcard playoff berth in the American League.

Farrell, however, is insisting his team maintains its competitive edge.

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And if any of the players are letting all the setbacks begin to show in their play, Farrell held a rare on-field meeting will the entire team on the field before Sunday's game just to give them a gentle reminder of what's expected.

"How they go about their work and what the ultimate performance on the field, that expectation shouldn't change in their minds," Farrell said. "They're professionals. They're motivated by their self pride.

"And we're motivated by putting together a quality game night in and night out. So that doesn't

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