ATLANTA -- The Braves are celebrating alumni weekend during their three-game series against the Blue Jays. The weekend's highlight came Friday night with the retirement of former pitcher John Smoltz's number.
For at least one member of the Blue Jays, watching the pregame ceremony brought back a wealth of memories. Utility infielder Omar Vizquel said watching Smoltz immediately took him back to the 1995 World Series when he faced Smoltz and the Braves as a member of the Indians.
"It brought the World Series right away when I saw him talking about [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine and Chipper [Jones] and Andruw Jones and all those persons," Vizquel said. "It just brought me the memories of the World Series, how they came out and shut us down to get the World Series."
Vizquel said he doesn't have a relationship with Smoltz, but has met him a few times. Still, he felt it was a special moment.
"It was pretty sentimental just to listen to him," Vizquel said. "It was very nice to see his teammates around him and give him the honor and the support that he deserved."
Davis exits with blister on index finger
ATLANTA -- Blue Jays left fielder Rajai Davis was replaced by Mike McCoy in the fifth inning because of a blister on his left index finger. He is considered to be day to day.
Manager John Farrell said the blister developed as a result of treatment Davis was getting for a jammed left middle finger. Davis suffered that injury Wednesday sliding and missed Thursday's game against the White Sox because of it.
Just before coming out of Saturday's 5-2 loss against the Braves, Davis swung wildly at a curveball in the dirt to strike out in the top of the fifth. The bat flew out of his hands, which prompted Farrell to make the move.
"The blister that's there creates a lot of discomfort for him," Farrell said. "When he swung the bat, the bat came out of his hand and we had to get him out of the game."
Davis is hitting .250 with four home runs, 13 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
McCoy made his third appearance of the season. He has twice been an injury replacement for Davis.
Farrell stays optimistic despite tough losses
ATLANTA -- Manager John Farrell said while the Blue Jays have lost back-to-back games in their opponents' last at-bat, they are looking at the positives of the last two nights' close losses.
"I think we all look at it internally here, as we put ourselves in a position to not only have a lead in the middle innings and potentially even later in the game," Farrell said. "The last two games have been a little bit more difficult, but it's not like we've got to revamp things."
Farrell noted the Blue Jays had the go-ahead run on third base with one out in the ninth inning Friday. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Brett Lawrie and got Colby Rasmus to fly out to left field to end the threat. The Braves went on to win the game, 4-3, in 10 innings when Jason Heyward stole third and then scored on catcher J.P. Arencibia's throwing error.
Farrell said he was happy the Blue Jays were able to tie the game at 3 in the eighth, and then give themselves a chance to take the lead in the ninth.
"I think we play extremely tough baseball, we compete," Farrell said. "I don't want to be known as a bunch of hard triers, but at the same time, this is a talented team and we've got to continue to execute all the way through."
The Blue Jays are 3-11 in one-run games this season. The 11 losses are tied for the most in the American League in one-run games.
While Farrell said he thinks their poor record in close games is more of a fluke, veteran utility infielder Omar Vizquel said he thinks the youth of the Blue Jays has been a factor.
"I think its part of the inexperience sometimes of some of the guys," Vizquel said. "We're learning. We're learning the hard way."
Blue Jays still confused by balk call
ATLANTA -- A day after right-hander Chad Beck was called for a costly balk in the sixth inning that gave the Braves a run, confusion over the call continued in the Blue Jays clubhouse.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday, the Braves and Blue Jays were tied at 2. The Braves had runners on the corners and Beck was facing Jose Constanza. Beck faked a pickoff throw to third base, where Jason Heyward was, and whirled around to check Andrelton Simmons at first. When Beck saw Simmons breaking for second, which was left uncovered, he ran at Simmons. Beck was called for a balk, allowing Heyward to score the go-ahead run.
Farrell unequivocally said Friday night that Beck did not balk. Saturday, Ferrell said players relayed two different explanations from two different umpires last night, but he still doesn't know what first-base umpire Dan Bellino called Beck for doing.
"[Beck's] got his back to him, he's not going to see," Farrell said. "Sometimes they'll call a balk if he doesn't make ground to his first base of intention, which he did. He came set, there was a change of direction in his hands. So I don't have a definitive reason as to why the balk was called."
With Bellino as today's home-plate umpire, Ferrell said he hopes to get a better explanation when he takes the lineup card out at the start of the game.
Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.