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Bautista defends attempt to steal third, says he was trying to get team going

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TORONTO - Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has defended his failed attempt to steal third Friday night, saying he was just trying to get something going.

With the Jays trailing Boston 5-0 with one out in the fourth inning, Bautista doubled. But after Edwin Encarnacion walked, Bautista was caught trying to steal third. Dioner Navarro then popped up to end the Toronto threat.

The Red Sox went on to win 8-1, with Boston starter Jake Peavey calling the failed Bautista steal "a shot in the arm for us."

Asked what Bautista was thinking by trying to take third, Toronto manager John Gibbons replied: "I've got no idea. It's not smart winning baseball. I'm sure he won't do it again."

Bautista's explanation Saturday was that he was saw an opportunity to improve his team's position.

"I thought it was a great chance to get two guys in scoring position, even though we were down 5-0," he said. "Obviously, the only thing I regret is that I didn't make it.

"But the pitcher was being slow to the plate. I thought I had a pretty good idea that the pitch was going to be a breaking ball, and I also know that the catcher's not the best catch-and-throw catcher in the league. Maybe my lead wasn't that big. Maybe I didn't get off to a great running start. But I thought it was a great opportunity for us to get two runners in scoring position with less than two outs. Sometimes you take chances and it doesn't work out, and that's part of the game.

"The only way you can make a mistake is if you're out there on the bases. It just didn't work out for us last night."

Bautista clearly hoped Encarnacion might follow his lead on the bases, but said he did not have a chance to flash his teammate a sign.

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