With all that's going on with the big club, Buffalo Bisons' manager Bobby Meacham was concerned how his team would react.
The Toronto Blue Jays entered Tuesday just 2-10 with a bunch of injuries and the natural reaction of players in Triple A is to start thinking when their MLB turn will come.
But the Bisons kept their focus in Buffalo Tuesday night, grinding out a 4-3 win over the Norfolk Tides in Coca-Cola Field to improve to 8-3 on the season.
"You know I've been trying to evaluate the whole season so far, the first 10 days and it's hard because of all the different moving parts," Meacham said before the game. "I'm kind of hoping the guys don't get sidetracked. You'd love to enjoy the 7-3 but I'm more concerned that guys get away from what they're trying to do and that's get better every day. They start thinking, 'Am I going to get called next? Am I going to be off the roster next? What's going to happen next?' My concern, I don't know if it's valid or not, is to keep them focused on their job down here."
Among those keeping focus was Bisons' starter Casey Lawrence.
Casey Lawrence again had a limited outing with the Bisons. In his second start, the righty was lifted after two innings, throwing 25 pitches, 19 for strikes. He gave up one run (a home run in the second) on two hits with three strike outs.
As the Toronto Blue Jays deal with injuries, including starting pitcher Jay Happ (elbow inflammation) on the disabled list and Aaron Sanchez out after having a procedure to remove a portion of his nail on his right middle finger, Lawrence is a candidate for a start on Friday or Saturday when they play the Angels in Los Angeles.
There was no official word from Toronto, but Meacham wanted to be sure Lawrence was prepared for whatever the Blue Jays may need.
"Everything we do here is to prepare for what Toronto needs," Meacham said. "And it's a possibility they'll need him up there for the weekend. We're making sure we're ready for what they need."
Will the Blue Jays need Lawrence as a starter or a reliever?
"We don't really know exactly what's going to happen. That's why we went two innings," Meacham said. "What we do know is they may need him so the best thing we can do is get him prepared. We know they're short a couple pitchers so we're getting our guys ready to help out."
Clubhouse blues: The Bisons left the field after their victory Tuesday and walked right into the basement tunnel of Coca-Cola Field. A sewer issue on the street level caused the Bisons' clubhouse to flood.
Towering drive: Dwight Smith Jr. put the Bisons on the board in the first with a solo home run to right center field. It was his second home run of the season and his seventh RBI.
The answer: Norfolk didn't let that home run sit. Pedro Alvarez homered to right to tie the game, 1-1, in the second.
Taking advantage: Smith Jr. drove in his second run of the game as the Bisons took advantage of Norfolk miscues in the second to regain a 2-1 lead. With two outs, Jason Leblebijian got on base when starter Gabriel Yno hit him with a pitch in the elbow. Leblebijian then stole second and moved to third when Christian Lopes reached first on a error by Tides' shortstop Robert Andino. That set up an RBI single for Smith Jr.
Start it with two: The Bisons made it a 3-1 lead in the third, starting their offense with two outs. Darrell Ceciliani, Jake Elmore and Alex Monsalve had back-to-back-to-back singles.
Another homer: Robert Andino homered for the Tides to make it a 3-2 game in the seventh.
Insurance: After a pair walks put runners on base and a passed ball advanced them into scoring position, Jake Elmore's sacrifice to center scored one run in the eighth for a 4-2 Bisons' lead. That extra run was critical as the Tides scored in the ninth on an RBI single by Paul Janish.
Roster moves: The Blue Jays recalled right handed pitcher Danny Barnes and infielder Ty Kelley. The Bisons activated left-handed pitcher Matt Dermody, who was optioned back to the Herd on Monday, while outfielder Ceciliani came off the disabled list. Toronto also announced it traded catcher Juan Graterol to the L.A. Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Counting the stands: The official paid attendance at Coca-Cola Field was 4,680.
Up next: The teams meet again at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday. Righty Jarrett Grube (1-0, 2.45) is scheduled to start for the Bisons against lefty Chris Lee (0-1, 9.72).