ST. LOUIS -- Manager John Farrell said Friday that top prospect Brett Lawrie is not close to returning to the field.
Lawrie suffered a broken left hand in late May while playing at Las Vegas.
"His return is going to take a little longer than we first anticipated," Farrell said. "Every time we put a timeline on it, it seems like we have to adjust it. The fact is, he's feeling some discomfort when he grips the bat. It's caused us to adjust our timeline.
"We don't have an exact date, but we're probably into August."
Lawrie can field grounders, but has trouble gripping the bat at full strength
Lights temporarily go out at Busch Stadium
ST. LOUIS -- At least the Cardinals knew what to expect this time.The Cardinals and Blue Jays waited out a 13-minute delay during their Friday night game at Busch Stadium due to a problem with a light tower on the first-base line in the ninth inning. It was the same light tower that went out during the Cards' game on June 1 against San Francisco, also in the ninth inning. Moments before the ninth inning began, two banks of lights went out along the right-field side of the 5-year-old ballpark. Umpire crew chief Tim McClelland determined that play needed to be halted, and for 13 minutes the two teams waited as the lights gradually came back to life.
Recalled Thames gets nod in Friday's opener
ST. LOUIS -- Eric Thames was more than happy to cancel his party plans.
Thames and his Las Vegas teammates had a social outing set up for next Wednesday, the first off-day in several weeks for the Triple-A 51s.
"We were going to go out and let loose a little," Thames said.
Instead, the 24-year-old left fielder will spend the next few days at Busch Stadium before heading to Detroit, and then Toronto.
Thames was recalled by the Blue Jays on Thursday and placed into the starting lineup for Friday's contest against St. Louis. He immediately made his presence felt, lacing a pair of doubles and scoring two runs in his first three at-bats.
This is Thames' second stint in the big leagues. He hit .286 and drove in four runs during a 13-game callup that began with his debut May 18. Thames was returned to Las Vegas just over two weeks later. He caught fire upon his return there, and hopes to bring a much-needed shot of offense to a lineup that has struggled mightily during a current four-game losing streak.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
The Blue Jays are hitting .168 with just 10 runs scored in the last six games. They were 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position in three games against the Braves this week.
Thames hit .352 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs with Las Vegas.
"He's a confident, aggressive hitter," manager John Farrell said. "The offensive side is the confident side of his game."
Thames, who started in left field on Friday, should eventually take Jose Bautista's spot in the outfield. Bautista is moving to third base, possibly as early as Monday.
The Santa Clara, Calif., native says his short stint in the Majors last month has prepared him for a longer stay this time around.
"I'm not quite as nervous as I was the first time I was up here," he said. "Now I have a little better idea of what to expect."
Thames had a career-best three hits on June 1 against Cleveland. He says he feels as though he has the ability to hit Major League pitching on a consistent basis.
"I'm just going to stay calm this time around and treat every game like just another game," he said. "You have to have that mindset."
The Blue Jays took Thames in the seventh round of the 2008 Draft. He hit .288 last season at Double-A New Hampshire, and led all Toronto Minor Leaguers with 104 RBIs.
Bautista has nothing but respect for Pujols
ST. LOUIS -- Jose Bautista, who leads the Majors with 22 homers, was looking forward to a power showdown with St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols during this weekend's three-game set at Busch Stadium.
But Pujols broke his left forearm on Sunday and will be out four-to-six weeks.
Still, Bautista loves watching Pujols in action.
"Not only is he a power hitter, but he's a complete player all around. And he's one of best players in the Major Leagues," Bautista said. "I only hope to be as consistent as he is."
Pujols has 17 homers and 45 RBIs in 73 games. Bautista is hitting .325 with 47 RBIs in 67 games.
First baseman David Cooper, the Blue Jays' first-round pick in 2008, hit his third homer in the last five games in Triple-A Las Vegas' 8-7 loss at Reno on Thursday. Outfielder Jason Lane hit a grand slam and third baseman Chris Woodward added a home run. Lefty Brett Cecil allowed five runs on eight hits over six innings.
Jesse Litsch, in a rehab start, tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in Double-A New Hampshire's 2-0 win over Altoona on Thursday. Litsch allowed four hits and struck out three.
Steve Overbey is a contributor to MLB.com. Austin Laymance contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.