Lawrie back in Blue Jays' lineup

Lawrie back in Blue Jays' lineup

Lawrie back in Blue Jays' lineup
TORONTO -- Brett Lawrie made his return to the Blue Jays lineup on Friday night after taking the All-Star break to rest a sore lower back.

Lawrie was scratched from Toronto's final game prior to the All-Star Break because of back spasms but showed up for the club's workout day on Thursday without any lingering pain or tightness.

"When he came out of the game [on July 7], it was iced, obviously, and needed the extra day on Sunday to let some of those spasms subside," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "We'll certainly monitor it, but in the workout [Thursday] he was fine and ready to go."

Lawrie has become one of the Blue Jays' more consistent performers since taking over the leadoff spot in early June. The second-year third baseman is batting .305 with four homers, 10 doubles and an .848 OPS at the top of the order.

The native of Langley, British Columbia, has been just as effective during the first at-bat of each game. He has led off 14 of those 31 games with a single and has provided the spark Farrell was looking for out of the leadoff position.

"He has done a very good job of setting the tone," Farrell said. "Projecting not only his personal image with his first at-bat but I think he gives us a different look from across the field and just the impression we give when we take the field.

"Having that energy and that aggressiveness to start the game, I think our own players feed off it as well."