Travis returns from left shoulder injury

Travis returns from left shoulder injury

TORONTO -- Second baseman Devon Travis was back in the Blue Jays' lineup on Thursday after missing two games because of a left shoulder injury.

Travis returned just in time for the crucial series finale against the rival Orioles. Toronto entered play on Thursday with a one-game lead over Baltimore for the top American League Wild Card spot, with four games left to play.

The Blue Jays monitored Travis' round of batting practice prior to Thursday's game, and the second baseman gave a nod of approval to manager John Gibbons as he walked off the field.

"He says he feels good," Gibbons said. "Good enough to play tonight."

Travis sustained the injury during Monday night's benches-clearing fracas with the Yankees. The 25-year-old hurt his surgically repaired shoulder during a scrum, and he later aggravated it during a fourth-inning strikeout.

Benches clear after HBP

Gibbons opted to keep left fielder Ezequiel Carrera at the top of the lineup for the third straight game on Thursday, with Travis slotting into the No. 9 hole.

"It's kind of a little bit of a precaution in case [Travis] isn't the same guy," Gibbons said.

Travis entered Thursday hitting a team-leading .299 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs in 97 games. He leads Toronto with 79 hits since the All-Star break, with 21 multi-hit games over that span.

Montero suspended

Blue Jays Minor League first baseman Jesus Montero has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

A release on Thursday by Major League Baseball stated that Montero tested positive for dimethylbutylamine. His suspension will begin at the start of the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old former top prospect spent the past season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners in March. Montero earned the Bisons' MVP Award after hitting .317 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in 126 games.

Montero also received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball in 2013 as a result of its investigation involving performance-enhancing drugs purchased through the Miami anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis.

In parts of five Major League seasons, Montero has hit .253 with 28 home runs and 104 RBIs.

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.