Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette late scratch vs. Rays with neck spasms

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette was a late scratch from Sunday’s 9-2 win over the Rays because of neck spasms.

The 2023 AL All-Star was replaced by Ernie Clement, who went 1 for 5 with a single.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider said Bichette received treatment during the game and is day-to-day.

“Game four, you don’t want to push it and make it any worse,” manager Schneider said. “I think it was just one of those deals where you wake up and it wasn’t really feeling right.”

Bichette had two hits in 12 at-bats (.167) with two RBIs through the first three games of the season.

Third baseman Justin Turner hit third in the lineup in place of Bichette. Turner had three hits, including a homer, and knocked in four runs.

Ace Kevin Gausman, whose spring training debut was delayed until March 25 because of shoulder fatigue, made his first start and allowed one run, two hits and struck out six in 4 1/3 innings while on a pitch count.

The right-handed threw 69 pitches,

“The last two weeks I think I’ve kind of surprised myself with how well I’ve felt, which is always nice when you’re 33,” Gausman said. “When you can surprise yourself body-wise, that’s a nice surprise.”

Gausman will increase the pitch total to 80-85 in his next outing.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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