ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Time will tell whether Anthony Gose's two-RBI night in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Rays sets the tone for his latest recall.
What is clear is that Gose needed something good to happen almost immediately upon his return to the big leagues.
He had a good night: an RBI single in the sixth and an RBI fielder's choice in the eighth, which pulled the Blue Jays into a 4-4 tie.
"Did a great job, he really did," said manager John Gibbons. "The big hit up the middle, two out hit, then a great job battling to plate that tying run. He really looked good."
Before the game, Gose had much a much simpler goal.
"Hit the ball," he said. "Specifically, hit the ball."
If the comment seems strange, here's the context: Gose has had a tough year at Triple-A Buffalo, at his worst struggling to make contact.
His 121 strikeouts in 443 plate appearances for the Bisons put his strikeout rate at 27.3-percent.
Gose has a tendency to whiff but this season, being so close yet feeling so far from Toronto, it's worn him down.
"When I hit the ball, good things happen," he said. "When I don't, I'm just a minor league player."
Gose appeared in 13 games during his first recall this season, while Rajai Davis was on the disabled list from May 20 to June 5, putting together a .304/.385/.391 slash line. The sample size was small, just 26 plate appearances (23 at bats,) but it left something off of which to build when he returned to Triple-A.
Except he struggled and murmurs of an attitude problem began trickling out of Buffalo. Word was Gose believed he should be a big leaguer even though the Blue Jays had a glut of outfielders.
He admits to being frustrated but insists he was misinterpreted.
"It's just when I went down I just stopped hitting the ball again and got frustrated," said Gose. "There were a lot of things that I could control that I wasn't controlling as far as maybe attitude and some things like that. It wasn't so much because I was sent down. It was more just when you go down there and strike out three times a game for four or five games in a row you're not going to be happy. I don't think anybody would."
DELABAR DROPS BY
Injured reliever Steve Delabar, on the disabled list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder, stopped by Tropicana Field on Friday afternoon to visit with teammates.
He's rehabbing at the Blue Jays' facility in nearby Dunedin.
While eligible to return on Sunday, it'll be a while still before Delabar is able to pitch. He's just started playing catch.
Delabar says the soreness in his shoulder began shortly after the All-Star break and initially he pitched through the pain.
"For me, I was competing and getting guys out," said Delabar. "So from my side it was like, how am I going to say I'm not feeling good if things are all working. So I'm still getting everybody out, or most of the guys out, and competing and being able to get myself ready so I was able to work through the soreness I had. It continued, with the work that we were getting and the progression that we were having so I couldn't get it out of there."
Delabar was a first time all star this season. He has a 2.90 ERA and has struck out 75 hitters in 49 2/3 innings.
He says he intends to pitch again this season.
BIG START FOR REDMOND
A native of St. Petersburg, Todd Redmond is looking forward to Sunday, when he'll make his first career start against his hometown team.
"Coming back home to pitch is always nice," said Redmond. "Growing up here watching the Devil Rays slash Rays play. It's nice coming back here and having a chance to pitch against them in front of my home crowd."
Sunday's game will be a family affair. Redmond's fiancée, his parents and two brothers with their families will be among those in attendance.
Redmond attended a number of games at Tropicana Field when he was younger. He says he was "one of those kids" who would ask for shattered bats and other souvenirs during batting practice.
He counts bats from Darryl Strawberry and Jose Canseco among his best hauls.
J.A. Happ has been activated from the bereavement list and will make Saturday's start against the Rays.
Happ pitched seven innings of one run ball in a 5-1 loss to Oakland on Monday and then took leave to attend his grandfather's funeral.
When he takes the ball, Happ will mark his first time pitching at Tropicana Field since he was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Rays' Desmond Jennings on May 7.
It will be Happ's third start since returning from injuries suffered in the incident.
MUNE'S A DAD
As the Blue Jays welcomed back Happ, the club placed second baseman Munenori Kawasaki on the paternity list.
Kawasaki, 32, stayed in Toronto witness the birth of his first child, a boy born on Friday evening.
The paternity list offers a 1-3 day window for a player to be away from his club.
Manager John Gibbons suggested the most likely scenario would have Kawasaki rejoin the team in New York following Monday's off day.
Word is mom and Mini Mune (in the absence of the baby's actual name, it'll do!) are doing well.