TORONTO -- The Blue Jays were without left-hander Aaron Loup for their 14-2 loss to the Royals in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday because of an emergency family matter.
Loup left the team Tuesday morning to deal with the situation, and it's not immediately known whether he will return before the end of the ALCS. At the very least, Loup will not be available for the must-win Game 5 at Rogers Centre on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1 and Sportsnet, 4 p.m. game time).
The departure is another blow to a Blue Jays bullpen that is without the services of injured lefty Brett Cecil. The team's thoughts are with Loup while he deals with the undisclosed issue.
"Loup got a call and he had to head to the airport and head home," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after Tuesday's game. "That's why he wasn't available. We were in a bind."
The matter also affected Loup during the American League Division Series against Texas. He missed Games 4 and 5 of that series for the same reason, but he rejoined the Blue Jays at the start of the ALCS in Kansas City.
Toronto does not have another lefty on its active roster for the postseason. Cecil is out with a torn calf muscle, and the Blue Jays will have to rely on late-inning relievers Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez to register outs against batters from both sides of the plate.
If the Blue Jays need more relievers than that pair, they will turn to a group that also includes Ryan Tepera, Liam Hendriks and LaTroy Hawkins. All three were used in Game 4, and their status for Game 5 remains up in the air. Hendriks would almost certainly not be available after pitching 4 1/3 innings on Tuesday. Tepera also worked extensively, throwing 38 pitches in 1 2/3 innings.
"We've been backed into a corner before," Hendriks said. "We know what we need to do."
Loup has made four appearances this postseason, allowing one run on one hit and two walks over two innings.