CF Darrell Ceciliani had to leave Thursday’s game against the Braves after injuring his left shoulder while hitting a two-run homer in the third inning. He suffered a possible partial separation and will be examined further Friday. The homer was his first of the season and he also had a RBI double in the first inning. Ceciliani got a start in place of suspended CF Kevin Pillar.
OF Dwight Smith Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before Thursday’s game in Atlanta to replace suspended CF Kevin Pillar. Smith walked in his first major league at-bat after entering as a defensive substitute and then struck out. He was hitting .297 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 36 games at Buffalo. The Atlanta native is the son of former Braves player Dwight Smith.
CF Kevin Pillar, batting .305, was suspended by the Blue Jays without pay for two games on Thursday for shooting a homophobic slur at Braves reliever Jason Motte after striking out on a quick pitch in the seventh inning Wednesday. Pillar will be eligible for reinstatement Saturday when the Blue Jays play in Baltimore. Pillar acknowledged directing the slur at Motte and apologized Thursday for its usage. Benches emptied after the exchange. Pillar was fined an undisclosed amount and will forfeit about $6,000 in salary.
RHP Marcus Stroman (4-2, 3.00 ERA) improved to 6-2 in interleague games and hit only the second home run by a Blue Jays pitcher in history Thursday against the Braves. He worked 5 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out six, walking one and giving up seven hits. Stroman, who had a pinch-hit double in St. Louis in April, connected for his homer in the third inning off RHP Julio Teheran.
RHP Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.95 ERA) should be ready for a full workload of pitches on Friday at Baltimore as he rebuilds his arm strength after two short stints on the disabled list. He allowed just one unearned run over five innings in a no-decision against Seattle last Sunday, throwing 78 pitches in his first outing since April 30. Sanchez is 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 14 career games (nine starts) against the Orioles.