OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Toronto slugger Jose Bautista felt his neck tighten up during batting practice and thought it was better to take the day off.
The Blue Jays can't get their leading hitter back in the lineup soon enough.
One day after getting shut out for only the fifth time this season, Toronto managed only four singles off a pair of Oakland pitchers and lost 5-1 on Saturday night.
Bautista, who leads the majors with 35 home runs, missed five games in May with a similar condition and didn't want to risk another setback.
``Having gone through it earlier in the year I don't want it to get that bad again,' Bautista said. ``It was just the same neck spasms. Playing with it would have been a risk.'
Bautista could return to the Blue Jays lineup Sunday, but with an off day on Monday, manager John Farrell is considering keeping Bautista out.
The news on designated hitter Adam Lind isn't as encouraging. Lind was taken out of the game after getting hit near his right wrist by a pitch from Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez. He was taken to a local hospital for X-rays and the team was waiting for the results.
``We don't know if there has been any structure damage,' Farrell said.
The injuries clouded what was an otherwise solid start by right-hander Henderson Alvarez.
Alvarez (0-1) allowed seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk over six innings but suffered his first career loss.
He allowed three consecutive hits in the bottom of the first, including Hideki Matsui's tying RBI single, then retired eight of the next nine until the A's scored an unearned run in the fourth.
``After the first inning i tried to look after my pitches better,' said Alvarez, who spoke through an interpreter. ``In my first two outings I threw a lot of fastballs and decided today that I was going to change that and start using my change-up earlier.'
Brandon Allen had two hits and scored the go-ahead run on a double play in the fourth inning while Josh Willingham homered as part of a three-run eighth for Oakland, which has won four of five at home after getting swept in a four-game series by Texas.
Allen singled and took third after Toronto second baseman John McDonald committed an error on Ryan Sweeney's grounder. Allen scored the go-ahead run when David De Jesus hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
Alvarez, who made his major league debut against Oakland on Aug. 10, kept it close but Toronto couldn't get much going offensively.
Gonzalez (10-11) pitched eight stellar innings for his first win in more than a month and combined with closer Andrew Bailey to retire 25 of the final 27 Toronto batters.
Oakland's All-Star left-hander allowed a one-out single to Eric Thames in the first and hit Lind two batters later. Edwin Encarnacion then lined a single to right to drive in Thames, who beat the throw home from De Jesus.
Colby Rasmus followed with a walk to load the bases but Gonzalez retired Brett Lawrie on a foul pop-up to first to work out of it.
Toronto, held to three hits a night earlier, didn't get much else after that. Gonzalez gave up a leadoff single to Thames in the third then retired the next 15 until McDonald's leadoff single in the eighth.
Oakland scored three times in the eighth to break open the close game. Willingham capped the outburst with a two-run pinch-hit home run, his 22nd homer of the season.
Notes: Less than a week after tearing his left hamstring, injured Blue Jays OF Rajai Davis has started running in Florida. Farrell continues to be hopeful that Davis can rejoin the team this season, though he acknowledged that the tear was ``significant.' ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria, one of Toronto's top minor league prospects, hit safely in his first eight games with Triple-A Las Vegas and went into Saturday batting .529 with one home run and five RBIs. ... RHP Guillermo Moscoso (6-6) pitches for Oakland on Sunday and will try to extend his personal winning streak to a career-best three games. His only win against Toronto came in relief on Aug. 11. ... LHP Luis Perez (2-2) makes his first career start for the Blue Jays, five days after throwing 61 pitches over four innings of relief and getting the win against Seattle.
The Associated Press News Service
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