Bautista says leg cramps won't keep him out of lineup

Blue Jays slugger goes 3-for-3 with two RBIs before exiting in sixth

Bautista says leg cramps won't keep him out of lineup

BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista was removed from Friday afternoon's game against the Orioles because of leg cramps, but he's not expected to miss any time.

Following Toronto's 12-5 win, Bautista said he didn't think it was a serious issue and that he expects to be in the starting lineup Saturday night.

Bautista left the game in the middle of the sixth inning and was replaced in right by Steve Tolleson. Bautista walked in the top half of the frame, advanced to third on a single by Josh Donaldson and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

"I wouldn't say dehydrated, I was just cramping," said Bautista, who felt discomfort in the calf area on both of his legs. "I can't really tell you exactly the reason why, but it happens. It's a long season, I'll be ready to go [Saturday]."

The early departure couldn't sour what had been a breakout game for Toronto's No. 3 hitter. Bautista entered without a hit in 12 at-bats while striking out eight times, but it was only a matter of time before he turned things around.

Bautista hit an RBI single to right field in his first at-bat. He added a double and another RBI single to finish 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs scored and two RBIs.

The performance came on a banner day for Toronto's lineup. The Blue Jays chased Orioles starter Bud Norris in the fourth and finished with a season high in runs on 16 hits, including eight doubles.

"I think this team is capable of scoring a lot of runs; it's not a surprise to me," Bautista said. "But hopefully we can continue to be consistent about it because that's what it's going to be all about. We're going to try to avoid those peaks and valleys and try to stay consistent.

"If we continue to have good at-bats and get on base like that, the pitcher pretty much has nowhere to go in this lineup. Once you have guys on base, you have to throw strikes and everybody in here can hit."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.