Jays’ Bautista could return on Sunday

The Toronto Blue Jays could get slugger Jose Bautista and second baseman Aaron Hill back on the field Sunday.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Bautista, who was not in the starting lineup Wednesday for the second consecutive game against Tampa Bay because of neck spasms, was making progress and may be ready to swing a bat on Friday.

”Improved today,” Farrell said. ”He’s getting treatment. When he’s up walking around he feels more freed up. So the spasm is relaxing.”

Bautista underwent an MRI exam Tuesday that showed no structural issues. He is hitting .357 with nine homers and 16 RBIs in 25 games, after leading the majors with 54 homers last season.

Hill, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, had six at-bats in an extended spring training game Wednesday. He is set to play three more minor league games in Florida, including a pair with Class-A Dunedin, before possibly being activated from the DL on Sunday.

”It’s all positive signs right now,” Farrell said.

Also, the Blue Jays announced that left-hander Ricky Romero has been scratched from his scheduled Thursday because of mild sprain of his left oblique. Kyle Drabek will take Romero’s place in the series finale with the Rays.