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Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette scratched from lineup due to neck spasms

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette runs out a ground ball during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Dunedin, Fla. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette was a late scratch from Sunday's game at Tampa Bay due to neck spasms.

The 2023 AL All-Star was replaced by Ernie Clement.

Bichette had two hits in 12 at-bats (.167) with two RBIs through the first three games of the season.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider, after a 9-2 victory, said Bichette received treatment during the game and is day to day.

“Game four, you don’t want to push it and make it any worse,” Schneider said. “I think it was just one of those deals where you wake up and it wasn’t really feeling right.”

Third baseman Justin Turner hit third in the lineup in place of Bichette. Turner had three hits, including a homer, and knocked in four runs.

Ace Kevin Gausman, whose spring training debut was delayed until March 25 because of shoulder fatigue, made his first start and allowed one run, two hits and struck out six in 4 1/3 innings while on a pitch count.

The right-handed threw 69 pitches,

“The last two weeks I think I’ve kind of surprised myself with how well I’ve felt, which is always nice when you’re 33,” Gausman said. “When you can surprise yourself body-wise, that’s a nice surprise.”

Gausman will increase the pitch total to 80-85 in his next outing.

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