Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista reacts after a throwing error on a single by Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier during the third inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
AP Photo
August 10, 2016

TORONTO (AP) The Toronto Blue Jays have placed slugger Jose Bautista on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained left knee.

''Obviously when you lose one of the best players in the game, that's a tough blow to a team,'' general manager Ross Atkins said.

Bautista stumbled and fell while attempting to make a throw from right field in the third inning Tuesday in a 9-2 loss to Tampa Bay. He finished the game but his knee worsened overnight, leading to an MRI on Wednesday that confirmed a Grade 1 sprain.

''I was surprised that it felt the way it did this morning,'' Bautista said. ''Obviously it was getting worse as the game was going so I knew that I did something, but I didn't expect it to feel this bad when I woke up.''

A free agent at the end of the season, Bautista is batting .222 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. He was on the disabled list from June 17 to July 25 with a sore left big toe, suffered when he leaped into the outfield wall during a game at Philadelphia.

Bautista called his latest injury ''extremely frustrating,'' especially after getting four hits in his past 11 at-bats.

''I was starting to get in the groove of things,'' Bautista said. ''I was seeing the ball pretty good and making solid contact in the last five, six games.''

Bautista is the second Blue Jays outfielder to go on the disabled list this week. He follows center fielder Kevin Pillar, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Monday with a sprained left thumb.

Toronto recalled outfielder Junior Lake and right-hander Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo. Tepera takes the place of right-hander Danny Barnes, who was optioned to Buffalo following Tuesday's loss.

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