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Josh Donaldson is heading back to the disabled list, four days after coming out of a game against the Boston Red Sox with left calf tightness.
The Blue Jays third baseman left Monday’s blowout loss at Fenway Park in the fifth inning. He did not play in the final two games of the series and was officially sidelined ahead of Friday’s opener against the Detroit Tigers.
The move is retroactive to May 29. Toronto recalled left-handed reliever Tim Mayza from the Triple A Buffalo Bisons in the corresponding move.
Donaldson, who initially said he did not think the injury was serious, is no stranger to calf issues, having missed nearly six weeks with a right calf strain last season. He has already spent 20 days on the disabled list this year with right shoulder inflammation.
The move was made after Toronto reinstated two of its regulars, Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz, from the disabled list. Grichuk had been out since April 30 with a right knee sprain; Diaz sprained his left ankle on May 6. Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. and reliever Jake Petricka were optioned to Buffalo to make room.
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Donaldson was hitting .234 with five home runs and 16 RBI through the first two months of the season. He joins shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (heels), outfielder Steve Pearce (oblique) and pitcher Marcus Stroman (shoulder) on the DL. Closer Roberto Osuna is the restricted list after he was arrested and charged with assault on May 8.
MLB: Hits exceeded strikeouts across Major League Baseball in May after a historic number of whiffs in April.
This marks a return to form. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were 7,033 hits and 6,971 strikeouts in May.
Strikeouts had topped hits in a full month for the first time in April, when then there were 6,656 strikeouts and 6,360 hits. The previous low differential was in April 2017, when there were 138 more hits than strikeouts.
Strikeouts per game dropped to 16.75 in May from 17.5 in April, a record for a full calendar month. Strikeouts have set a record for 10 consecutive seasons, and this year’s rate projects to 41,633. That would shatter last year’s mark of 40,104; the total was 32,884 in 2008.
Arizona batters have 131 more strikeouts than hits this season, while Texas is at 119 and San Diego at 117. Boston has the best differential, with 97 more strikeouts than hits, followed by Atlanta (81) and Detroit (78).
Contact improved slightly with better weather. Thus far this season, 32 per cent of 63,868 plate appearances ended without a batted ball in play: 14,306 strikeouts, 5,557 walks, 626 hit batters and 12 catcher’s interference calls. That is down from 33 per cent through April.
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There have been 1,888 home runs in 835 games, an average of 2.26. That represents a drop from 2.43 last year through May, when where there were 1,923 in 791 games.
The average climbed from 1.90 before the 2015 all-star break to 2.17 in the second half that year, then rose to 2.31 in 2016 and a record 2.51 last season.
With files from The Associated Press