The Toronto Blue Jays are projecting Jose Reyes to be out of the lineup for as many as three months. Until then, this is as complete as the team’s lineup is going to get.

Jose Bautista returned from a four-game absence caused by back spasms on Friday, in time for the Blue Jays’ 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees. It was the first time Bautista and Brett Lawrie, who missed the first two weeks of the season because of a strained left rib cage, were in the lineup together.

“That’s the team we envisioned,” manager John Gibbons said before the game. “You’re not going to get a whole lot of sympathy [from the Yankees]. They’ve taken more of a beating than anybody as far as the injuries go. You’re team is built a certain way and you want to see them all out there together. They’re two big players for us.”

Lawrie recorded his first two hits of the season after starting the year 0-for-10. The first was a dribbler that third baseman Kevin Youkilis botched, but the scorekeeper deferred to Lawrie’s speed. The second hit was a more legitimate base hit up the middle.

Bautista hit his fourth home run of the year in the sixth inning, a blast into centre field. He is expected to serve as the designated hitter on the weekend before returning to right field in Baltimore.

“I don’t have the tightness in my body that I had before,” Bautista said before the game. “It’s still a little sore because my muscles were tight for four days until today. The pain hasn’t subsided completely, but the tightness has.”

The Blue Jays’ lineup lacked punch as a unit, though. They managed seven hits, with only Bautista’s blast, Rajai Davis’s leadoff triple and J.P. Arencibia’s ninth-inning homer going beyond a single. Blue Jays hitters did not show much patience all evening. The Blue Jays have scored just 19 runs in seven games since Reyes’s injury.

“He’s one of the best players in the game,” Gibbons said of Reyes. “There’s going to be some effect. We’re built to do some damage from the top to bottom. We can’t lay it all on that. One man doesn’t make a team. He sure helps.”

Even if the Blue Jays got some better hitting, it likely would not have mattered. Brandon Morrow continued his good-bad-good-bad pattern on the mound, allowing seven runs, five earned, over 5 1/3 innings. Morrow struggled badly early in the counts, and that slayed him all evening. Travis Hafner had an RBI double in the first inning and a home run in the third, while Lyle Overbay added a home run in the sixth. Two batters later, Morrow’s evening was done. Vernon Wells added a home run in the seventh to really cement the awfulness for Blue Jays fans.