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Jose Bautista misses series opener with Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista celebrates in front of Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana after hitting a two run homer during first inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday, April 4, 2013.


The Boston Red Sox will not have to worry about the presence of Jose Bautista in the starting lineup when they begin their three-game weekend set against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night at Rogers Centre.

The slugging Blue Jays' rightfielder, who already has two home runs on the season, is being kept out of the game because of a sore right ankle.

"His ankle is a little bit sore," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "So I figured I'd give him a day off, do him some good. Hopefully it's just tonight is all he needs. It's a big bat."

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Gibbons said he didn't think he would use Bautista Friday night in a pinch hitting situation, "but you never know," he added.

Bautista said he is not that concerned with his ankle, that it's just a bit sore.

"I still believe that the proper precaution was taken by taking today off and seeing how it feels tomorrow and possibly play tomorrow," he said.

Bautista tweaked his ankle legging out a fielder's choice to first base in the eighth inning in Thursday's game against the Cleveland Indians.

He was replaced in right field in the top of the ninth by Rajai Davis, who will get the start there against Boston.

Bautista added his availability might be different if it was later in the season and the Blue Jays were in a pennant race.

"There's no pressing need for me to be playing right now," he said. "But if this was like the end of the season and the games were to be ones that put us in the playoffs or in the playoffs I would definitely be playing."

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If Bautista is well enough to play on Saturday in the second game of the three-game set against Boston it would be as he designated hitter, Gibbons said.

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