October 14, 2016 - 9:47 PM
CLEVELAND - Toronto second baseman Devon Travis looked despondent as he sat on a couch in the locker-room after the Blue Jays dropped a 2-0 decision to Cleveland on Friday night.
A nagging right knee injury flared up again at Progressive Field, forcing him from the opening game of the American League Championship Series. His return date is uncertain.
Reliever Jason Grilli, no stranger to injuries himself, sat down beside Travis and tried to lift his spirits. Travis listened intently as his post-game meal was getting cold on the table in front of him.
Travis, who has battled injuries throughout his two big-league seasons, didn't have much of an appetite. He couldn't shake the thought that an injury might keep him out of the lineup yet again.
"I felt a super sharp pain in my knee," Travis said. "It felt like it was kind of giving out a little bit and that was it."
Travis has been nursing a bone bruise over the last week. He reported steady improvement and felt ready to go after skipping the last two games of the AL Division Series.
However, he felt a twinge as he covered first base after a bunt by Coco Crisp in the fifth inning. Travis was clearly hobbling after Tyler Naquin followed with a groundout and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons pulled him from the game.
"He felt good going into the game," Gibbons said. "He planted and felt a sharp pain in his knee and he wasn't able to continue. That's where we're at right now. What happens (from here), I couldn't tell you."
Defensive specialist Ryan Goins replaced Travis at second base. Goins was lifted for pinch-hitter Darwin Barney in the seventh inning.
Travis expects to get the results of an MRI exam on Saturday.
"Before I never did one thing where it was like, 'Damn,' Travis said of the knee problem. "Tonight it was like, 'Damn.'"
He went 0 for 2 at the plate and left three runners on base. Travis has just one hit in 10 at-bats this post-season.
He hit .300 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 101 regular-season games. Last season, Travis played in only 62 games due to a shoulder problem that required surgery.
"It's tough," Travis said. "Sometimes you want to go back and you want to ask why. I try not to do that. It's unfortunate. I don't know what exactly is going on with me right now to cause all of this.
"I know at the end of the day I've got a clubhouse full of guys that have got my back and I'll be out there every day I can."
Goins, who was not on the Jays' ALDS roster, split the regular season between Toronto and triple-A Buffalo. He hit .186 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 76 games with the Blue Jays.
Goins hit .139 in 11 post-season games last year.
Game 2 is set for Saturday afternoon. The series will shift to Toronto for Monday's Game 3.
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016