Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson connects for a three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 6, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara
April 08, 2016

TORONTO (AP) Slugger Josh Donaldson is starting at designated hitter in the Blue Jays' home opener against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Donaldson left in the seventh inning of Toronto's 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday after failing to run out a groundball. The reigning AL MVP said he did not want to risk doing further damage to a strained right calf that has been bothering him for the past week. The Blue Jays were off Thursday, and Donaldson did not participate in a team workout.

''We don't think it's a big deal but it's probably wise to give him another day,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''We're thinking long term.''

Donaldson homered before leaving Wednesday's game, his second of the season. He hit a career-high 41 home runs last season.

Darwin Barney will replace Donaldson at third base.

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