BAL@TOR: Canadian fans go crazy for Kawasaki

BOSTON -- Munenori Kawasaki returned to the Blue Jays lineup on Sunday against the Red Sox, but in an unfamiliar position.

Kawasaki, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo when Melky Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week, batted ninth and played second base for the first time in his Major League career.

Kawasaki had only played shortstop at the big league level before Sunday, but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thinks second base could be a good fit.

"He can do that," Gibbons said. "It could be a natural position for him."

Ever since Jose Reyes returned from the disabled list on Wednesday, Gibbons has routinely shuffled the infield lineup. In the five games, he's used four different combinations at second base, shortstop and third base.

Maicer Izturis, Mark DeRosa and Edwin Encarnacion have all played at third during the span, with Emilio Bonifacio, Izturis and now Kawasaki getting time at second base.

At least for now, shuffling is the plan for the immediate future.

"We'll just kind of rotate those guys depending on the matchup," Gibbons said. "With Kawasaki back, we can approach it some different ways out there."

It's been a hectic week for Kawasaki. He was sent back to Triple-A when Reyes returned from the disabled list, but was called back to the big leagues about 48 hours later because of Cabrera's injury.

When Kawasaki walked through the door of the visiting locker room at Fenway Park on Friday he yelled, "I'm back," and gave a delighted Jose Bautista a hug.

Kawasaki has always been a positive clubhouse presence, but Gibbons said having a guy they can count on to perform despite being shuttled between Triple-A and the Majors is also important.

"Those guys are very valuable," Gibbons said. "Some guys go back and forth, back and forth. You don't like to do that, but he fits in that mold."

In 151 at-bats this season before Sunday, Kawasaki is hitting .225 with a .337 on base percentage and 17 RBIs.

Davis making most of starting opportunity

TOR@BOS: Davis makes leaping grab against the Monster

BOSTON -- Rajai Davis has made the most of his opportunities this season, and with Melky Cabrera on the disabled list, he's doing the same with his chance to be the Blue Jays' everyday left fielder.

Since assuming the role on Friday, Davis reached base five times in eight plate appearances and was 3-for-6 entering Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox. He's also been a force on the basepaths, stealing two bases over the last four games and scoring a run.

The production shouldn't come as a surprise. Davis has been effective all season long. Heading into Sunday, Davis held a .314 batting average, a .354 on base percentage and had swiped 18 bags over 47 games.

The success made manager John Gibbons' decision to make him the starter in left field an easy one.

"We talked about some different options, but we thought, 'You know what? Raj has been swinging a little bit. Get him out there,'" Gibbons said. "I mean, he adds a different element. He gets on base and he can run wild."