TOR@PIT: Delabar induces groundout to preserve lead

CINCINNATI -- Steve Delabar's tumultuous week continued on Friday afternoon as he was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo for the second time in four days.

Delabar was originally sent down on Tuesday to make room for infielder Munenori Kawasaki. He returned two days later when left-hander Brett Cecil was placed on the disabled list, but the tides have turned once again.

The 2013 All-Star was optioned following a disappointing outing Thursday night in New York. Delabar retired two batters, but also allowed one hit and walked three in his return.

"He needs to go down and figure some things out," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You don't like to do that, back and forth, but he went out there last night, of course he was a little bit rusty, but he wasn't real sharp. He needs to go figure some things out, and he will, but he has to get some steady work."

The move resulted in the Blue Jays playing Friday night's game vs. the Reds with six relievers. That's expected to change for Saturday when the Blue Jays will likely recall left-hander Rob Rasmussen from Buffalo.

Delabar can't be recalled for at least 10 days unless someone gets placed on the DL. He had fallen down the depth chart in recent weeks and wasn't being used enough to work through some of his control problems on the mound. He'll have an opportunity to do that in Buffalo for what he can only hope is a short stint.

"Not enough strikes, too many walks and not being able to do much with his offspeed pitches," Gibbons said of Delabar, who has a 4.91 ERA in 25 2/3 innings this season. "He needs to be able to get those over."

Gibbons being cautious with veteran rotation

TOR@BAL: Dickey leaves early with an apparent injury

CINCINNATI -- The Blue Jays are taking extra precautions to make sure their starting rotation doesn't run out of gas during the latter stages of the 2014 season.

Toronto promoted right-hander Liam Hendriks from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start for Friday night's game vs. the Reds. The biggest beneficiary of the move is R.A. Dickey, who was bumped back to Sunday as he recovers from a minor groin injury.

Dickey wasn't the only one the Blue Jays had in mind with the move. Toronto also wants to protect Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle from tiring down the stretch.

"I think it's going to better serve us throughout the whole year when we pick a spot here and there and we give those guys an extra day," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We have some off-days coming that will allow us to do that.

"[Hendriks] was coming to pitch this series regardless, but with Dickey and the groin deal the other day, it allows us to back him up and give him an extra couple of days. But Hendriks was coming here anyways, it wasn't strictly to give Dickey a break."

Gibbons has never taken this approach before, but he pointed to the ages of Dickey (39) and Buehrle (35) as one reason why. Then there's also the fact that Hutchison missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery and will continue to have his overall workload closely monitored.

Worth noting

Brett Lawrie made his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Friday night after missing one game because of a sore left hand. Lawrie was struck on his hand by a pitch from Yankees starter Chase Whitley on Wednesday night.

"One tough Canadian," Gibbons said. "He has taken two shots to the hand in the last week. That's the hockey side of him."