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Saturday Bantering: Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier out two months with hip injury

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

Chicago White Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
Kevin Kiermaier flies through the air after injuring himself while sliding into first base.
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is set to miss two months with a right hip fracture, manager Kevin Cash shared on MLB Network Radio. Kiermaier slid into first base in an attempt to beat out an infield hit and was forced to leave the game. The Rays have recalled Mallex Smith from triple-A Durham in a corresponding move.

The play which Kiermaier was injured on (video), in Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, was not pretty.

"The thing about it is, when you're running down to first base, I can't run through the bag, or else I'm going to collide with Jose Abreu, who's a big dude," Kiermaier told media after the game on Thursday. "I made the decision to try to slide right there."

"He's going to go on the DL," Cash said on MLB Network Radio. "He's got a hairline fracture in his hip region. He's going to at minimum be shut down six to eight weeks... Mallex is going to play center for us. Everything we've heard from triple-A... is that he's a game-changer defensively. He's played well both offensively and defensively there. So we're going to go with him to start."

In mid-May, we wrote about Claire Eccles, a left-handed knuckleballer who had signed a contract with the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League. Eccles, the first woman ever to appear in a West Coast League game, made her debut on Wednesday night, pitching two innings of relief and allowing two runs on one hit and one walk.

“100 percent Claire is good enough to play on our team,” general manager Brad Norris-Jones told The Canadian Press. “Is it going to be a challenge for Claire? Absolutely. We're just going to get everyone involved and show that in 2017, this isn't different. This isn't weird. It's normal."

"I was obviously a little skeptical," Eccles said. "You have to wonder: 'Is this just for their own publicity?' Brad said I'd get fair opportunities and it's not just for show."

Steve Pearce continued his rehab outing last night, leading off for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in his second game with the team. In his first outing, Pearce hit third and failed to gather a hit in his four plate appearances, although he did walk once. Last night, against the Akron RubberDucks, Pearce had three plate appearances in which he didn’t reach base. He played left field in the 8-1 Fisher Cats win.

The Blue Jays lost to the Seattle Mariners by a final score of 4-2 early this morning, despite a relatively good start from Joe Biagini. In seven innings, Biagini gave up three earned runs on two walks and six strikeouts, throwing 98 pitches to accomplish the feat. He had only allowed one run into the seventh. Jose Bautista also hit a solo home run (11) in the losing effort.

Marcus Stroman will head to the mound at 10:10 ET tonight against the Mariners once again. Stroman has allowed more than two walks in a start just twice this season, a testament to his dominant control. Ariel Miranda will start for the Mariners. In his last start against the Blue Jays on May 14th, Miranda gave up one earned run over five innings. He walked three and struck out eight. You can watch the game on Sportsnet and MLB Network or listen to it on Sportsnet 590.

Minor news:

  • Mike Bolsinger cleared waivers and accepted his assignment to triple-A Buffalo, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.
  • Aaron Hill, a one-time Blue Jay, collected his 1,500th career hit last night.
  • Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run over the batters eye in Pittsburgh last night. It’s a pretty incredible video to watch. There’s also the Statcast video of the home run, which is also amazing.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkColley.