TORONTO -- The Blue Jays might be in the middle of a big series against division-rival Boston, but baseball was understandably the last thing on Brett Lawrie's mind Saturday evening in downtown Toronto.
Lawrie was in the middle of shopping at the Eaton Centre Mall with his friend, Corey, when tragedy struck. One suspect opened fire in the lower-level food court that resulted in one fatality, two people in serious condition and an additional three victims who were treated for gunshot wounds.
Toronto's third baseman was in the vicinity when the shooting took place and had to evacuate the premises upon learning the news.
"We were down by the subway and we just didn't know how to really get out of the place, so we were like, 'OK, we have to go a couple of floors up,'" Lawrie said. "Then as soon as we were going up the first flight of stairs, we heard, 'bang, bang, bang, bang' as fast as you could pull a trigger.
"We were kind of skeptical on what we heard, and sure enough, we turned around and there were a bunch of people running up the stairs. Usually these people wouldn't be running out of a public place like they were, so that was kind of a trigger to myself and my buddy to get out of there as fast as possible."
Lawrie left the building and then went onto the social networking site Twitter to relay what he had seen. The native of Langley, British Columbia, explained the events to his 125,000-plus followers and was given credit by a lot of the mainstream media for being the first person to break the story.
It was an example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but Lawrie can be thankful he escaped without injury. It's a moment that he will never be able to forget and said there was "instant panic" from everyone in the mall as people began to stampede toward the exits.
"It was almost as if you stepped on an ant hill and everyone just flooded out of the whole place," Lawrie said.
"We heard the shots, and you kind of think to yourself, 'Are those shots?' But you never know. That's not going to happen at the Eaton Centre Mall, you think that to yourself. But once we saw people run up the stairs, you saw the look on their faces that this wasn't a little thing. That's when I knew it was time to get out of there."
Lawrie understandably took a while to get his bearings. Approximately three hours after the incident, Lawrie tweeted "Rattled right now" and he spent most of the evening being thankful that he was able to escape.
"The more I thought about it, I was just glad that I was with my buddy because we just talked about it," Lawrie said. "The more that I thought about it, it was that I did get lucky, because we were right down there 10 seconds before. You don't know what could have happened, but just lucky enough to get out of there safe and sound."
Encarnacion day to day with bruised hand
TORONTO -- Test results on Edwin Encarnacion's injured right hand did not reveal any fractures, and he is currently listed as day to day with a bruise.
Encarnacion was struck on the hand by a fastball from Boston's Daniel Bard during the second inning of the Blue Jays' 5-1 victory on Sunday at Rogers Centre.
Toronto's designated hitter briefly remained in the game before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning.
"It's on the back of his right palm," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Basically right below the knuckles of the fourth and fifth fingers. He was in obvious pain, tried to continue on, felt some strength come back in the hand when he was tested on the field.
"But more precautionary than anything with some of the on-site pictures, the floor scan that we can take here, there was enough reason to get him out of today's ballgame and get more concrete evidence."
Encarnacion was one of two Blue Jays players that were hit by Bard on Sunday afternoon. Boston's right-hander also hit Yunel Escobar earlier in the inning and walked six batters in just 1 2/3 innings.
Bard and the Blue Jays have a long-standing history with each other dating back to Spring Training in 2011. That was when the former reliever hit Corey Patterson in the head, which resulted in a lengthy absence for the veteran outfielder.
The 26-year-old Bard also hit Jose Bautista on the hand this spring, but the Blue Jays weren't about to suggest there was any hidden motive. It was clearly a case of a pitcher who wasn't able to command his pitches.
"They weren't intentional," Farrell said. "Yeah, you fear a ball's going to get away from a guy -- and particularly as hard as he can throw. Two fastballs ran up and in, one to Yunel that just clipped him on the right thumb and then obviously the Edwin situation.
"Hopefully this isn't a situation with Edwin that's too long term."
Encarnacion arguably has been the Blue Jays' best hitter this season. The Dominican native is hitting .279 with 17 home runs and 42 RBIs in 54 games.
Morrow throws in bullpen, set for next start
TORONTO -- Brandon Morrow threw his scheduled bullpen session on Sunday morning and appears set to make Wednesday's start against the White Sox.
Morrow sustained a deep bruise on his right shin after being hit by a line drive off the bat of Wilson Betemit on May 30. Morrow was immediately removed from the game, and while the club initially feared the worst, he successfully avoided a major injury.
Toronto's No. 2 starter has the added luxury of receiving an extra two days of rest in between outings because of two off-days in a five-day span, and that should be enough to allow him to start against the White Sox.
"We don't anticipate anything less than getting through a successful bullpen," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said during a morning scrum with reporters.
The 27-year-old Morrow arguably has been the Blue Jays' best pitcher this season. He is currently 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA while striking out 62 in 68 2/3 innings.
Vlad makes debut at Triple-A Las Vegas
TORONTO -- Vladimir Guerrero made his debut for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday night by going 1-for-5 with a double.
The veteran designated hitter also just missed a home run to straightaway center field in his first at-bat and continues to receive rave reviews from the Blue Jays' Minor League developmental system.
"His timing was consistent with what was the case in Dunedin," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Guerrero, who signed a Minor League contract in early May, is currently in the process of working himself back to the Major Leagues. The process originally began at extended spring training before he advanced to Class A Dunedin.
The 37-year-old went 9-for-20 with four homers and eight RBIs in four games with Dunedin before getting a promotion to the Pacific Coast League. That was the number of at-bats the Blue Jays deemed necessary before Guerrero could make the next step, but there is no such timetable for his time with the 51s.
"We haven't set that number, but if you use Spring Training as a guide, we typically target 50-60 at-bats," Farrell said. "Then the next question is, well do you count extended spring or do you count just the at-bats in Dunedin? Bottom line is there is no end date to say it's time to come or we've made the evaluation. We're not at that point yet."
Guerrero could join the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Chicago, but Farrell appeared to rule that out by saying whatever roster move is made before the series likely will involve a position player with defensive versatility.
A Dominican native, Guerrero appeared in 145 games with the Orioles last season and hit .290 with 13 home runs, 63 RBIs and a .733 OPS.
Left fielder Travis Snider received three at-bats at extended spring training on Saturday afternoon. Snider is currently on the seven-day disabled list with Triple-A Las Vegas because of a jammed right wrist. There is no immediate timeframe for his return, but his plate appearances in Florida were a step in the right direction.
"He came through it fine," Farrell said. "Three at-bats, DH, there was no report that he was sore or tender afterwards. He's in the process of getting back into game shape."
First baseman David Cooper was in the No. 5 spot in the order for Sunday afternoon's series finale against Boston. The second-year infielder entered play against the Red Sox hitting .310 with one home run and three RBIs in eight games this season. Center fielder Colby Rasmus was dropped to the seventh spot in the lineup.