With Bautista expected to miss one more game, Lind and the Blue Jays will try to win their second straight over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday when the teams continue their series at Rogers Centre.
Bautista, who hit a career-high 54 homers in 2010, had nine when he was taken out of Sunday’s 5-2 loss at the New York Yankees with neck tightness. In four games without him, Toronto (15-17) has just two home runs - both coming off Lind’s bat.
The first baseman went 2 for 5 with a solo homer and two RBIs in Friday’s 7-4 victory, and is batting .477 with six homers and 15 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
“He’s obviously a very powerful guy but he’s got tremendous balance with just a great swing,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after Toronto recorded a season-high 15 hits in the series opener to snap his club’s three-game winning streak. “He’s been swinging exceptionally well.”
The Blue Jays’ lineup busted out Friday after batting .227 and averaging 2.4 runs during a 1-4 stretch immediately preceding this six-game homestand.
Toronto will try to keep the bats going to support Ricky Romero(notes) (2-3, 3.00 ERA), who is expected to get the ball Saturday after his start was pushed back two days due to a strained left oblique muscle. The injury likely occurred during a 5-3 win at the New York Yankees on April 29, when the left-hander fell back in the third inning after catching a line drive from Mark Teixeira(notes) just inches from his face.
Romero stayed in the game, allowing two runs in six innings to snap a personal three-game skid.
“During that game, you have so much adrenaline going and you don’t really feel anything,” Romero told the Blue Jays’ official website Friday. “I woke up with more sore spots than usual.”
Romero, who added that his arm feels great, has posted a 4.82 ERA while losing his last three starts to Detroit.
Verlander is among the major league leaders with 51 strikeouts, but is looking for better control after walking a season high-tying four in six innings of Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Yankees.
“My fastball was so strong that I couldn’t get it down, and that was getting me behind in the count and in trouble,” he said Monday after surrendering three runs and striking out eight. “In the long run, it is a positive if I feel this good, but I have to be able to control it.”
Verlander is 1-2 with a 6.68 ERA in five career starts versus Toronto. That ERA is his highest against any AL opponent.
He will try to help Detroit avoid its fifth consecutive road loss overall, and its ninth in 13 games at Toronto.
Lind is 4 for 12 - including two homers - off Verlander.