May 10, 2019 5:41 pm

Guerrero Jr., moves up to second in order

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Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order for Friday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre.

Guerrero, considered baseball’s top prospect when he was called up April 26, has struggled since his arrival. Manager Charlie Montoyo has used him in the No. 5 spot, but Guerrero had just six hits over his first 10 games.

“He’s having good at-bats and I like the idea of him getting into the action quick,” Montoyo said.

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Eric Sogard was tabbed to lead off against the White Sox with slugger Justin Smoak set to bat third ahead of Rowdy Tellez.

“It seems like there’s protection for almost everybody,” Montoyo said in his pre-game availability.

Over his first 37 at-bats, Guerrero had one RBI and 11 strikeouts. His slugging percentage was just .189 and he had a .244 on-base percentage.

“He hasn’t had many hits but they’re all deep counts,” Montoyo said. “So that’s why we thought it’s time to move him right there near the top of the lineup, him and Sogard.”

Sogard is off to a strong start with four homers, 12 RBIs and a .333 average.

The Blue Jays made several roster moves before the game.

Right-hander Javy Guerra was selected from triple-A Buffalo to fill the vacancy created when left-hander Thomas Pannone was optioned to the Bisons on Thursday.

Pannone was recalled when right-hander Clay Buchholz was placed on the 10-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation. The move was retroactive to Thursday.

Buchholz was 0-2 over five starts with a 6.57 earned-run average. Guerra (5.40 ERA) did not record a decision over nine appearances with Toronto this season while Pannone is 1-3 with a 7.40 ERA.

In addition, Socrates Brito was designated for assignment and Jonathan Davis was recalled from Buffalo.

Brito had a .077 average over 17 games. Davis hit .306 with four homers and nine RBIs over 16 games with the Bisons.

The 15-22 Blue Jays entered the series opener on a five-game losing skid.

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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