"He got sore," manager John Gibbons said after the game. "I didn't think he could run much, so then we gave him the at-bat and ran for him. We'll see. We'll have a better idea [of where he's at] tomorrow."
Bautista reached base on a two-out walk by Orioles reliever Dylan Bundy and was immediately lifted for pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera. The 35-year-old was seen earlier in the game massaging his leg in Toronto's dugout.
The slugger finished his evening 2-for-2 with a pair of runs, leading off the game with a double in the first, delivering an RBI single in the third and also added his Major League-leading 46th and 47th walks of the season.
The Blue Jays have gone 12-7 since inserting Bautista into the leadoff spot, and the veteran has responded to the move with five home runs and an .815 OPS entering Thursday's action.
Bautista has been a model of durability his last three seasons with the Blue Jays, playing in 369 out of a possible 385 games for Toronto since the start of the 2014 season.
If Bautista is unable to go Friday, Gibbons could use Carrera to temporarily fill in atop the lineup and in right field. The 28-year-old has hit .344 with an .829 OPS in 37 games with the Blue Jays this season, and has seen time at every outfield spot. Carrera has started five games at the top of the order in 2016, and is hitting 11-for-24 out of the leadoff spot.
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.