Yunel Escobar back in lineup

Updated: September 23, 2012, 12:04 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was back in the starting lineup two days after he served a three-game suspension for wearing eye-black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish.

Escobar, who was out during a three-game series against the New York Yankees, batted fifth in manager John Farrell's lineup for Saturday night's game at Tampa Bay. Escobar went 0 for 4 as the Blue Jays lost 11-5.

Escobar had a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning of the Blue Jays' 12-1 loss to the Rays on Friday night.

"It's time to get back in there," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "Whether he's completely over what has taken place, I would venture to say that he's not. These are the things that he has to deal with."

Escobar apologized and said he meant it to be a joke. He will take part in an outreach initiative to promote tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation, and participate in a sensitivity training program.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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