It has been a long time since the Blue Jays have played a meaningful game in September, and they will have to wait at least one more year to have that opportunity.
While the Blue Jays expected to be fighting for a playoff spot at this time of year, following a series of blockbuster moves to overhaul the roster in the offseason, they must settle for ruining the chances of Tuesday's opponent.
The D-backs are seven games back for the National League's second Wild Card, trying to fight off the Nationals and catch the Reds. The Blue Jays are playing for next season.
"We've taken our knocks, that's for sure," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "It was a disappointing season all the way around, but we didn't play well enough to be anywhere different than where we're at. We deal with that and move on. We have a little different look now, and we're giving some young kids a chance to play. This is their opportunity."
While injuries have played a role in the lineup, the Blue Jays have been dressing a handful of players who have spent the majority of the season in the Minor Leagues, including four of them in Monday's 4-1 victory.
Among those getting a look has been Tuesday's starter, Todd Redmond, a 28-year-old career Minor Leaguer.
Redmond had just one appearance in the Majors entering this season, but a series of injuries and poor performances forced the Blue Jays to see what they had in the right-hander, whom they claimed off waivers just prior to the season.
The St. Petersburg native has been largely impressive as a starter. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his nine starts this season, with a 3.27 ERA in those eight.
He will be opposed Tuesday by Wade Miley, who has been awfully impressive since the start of July.
The 26-year-old left-hander is 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 55 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings over 11 starts since then.
Last time out was no different, as Miley held the Padres to two earned runs over seven strong innings but ended up taking the loss.
Blue Jays: Toronto still hoping for Bautista's return
While the Blue Jays were in Arizona taking on the D-backs on Monday, Jose Bautista was in New York City for a medical evaluation of the bone bruise in his left hip.
"They'll look at it and check out his progress," Gibbons said before the game. "He's feeling better, though."
Although the club is optimistic that Bautista will rejoin the club before the end of the season, at this stage in the year the Blue Jays will not rush anything when it comes to the slugger.
"We hope [to have him back], but we'll have a better idea in the next couple days after he sees the doctor," Gibbons said. "We still have a month left, but once he gets cleared to go, he's got to get back into baseball stuff."
Prior to the injury, Bautista was hitting .259 with 28 homers, 73 RBIs and an .856 on-base plus slugging percentage.
D-backs: Hill happy to see former club
Aaron Hill was not in the lineup for the Labor Day matchup between the Blue Jays and the D-backs, but when he finally gets into a game against them it will be a first for the second baseman.
Hill was drafted by Toronto in 2003, and he stayed there until he was traded to Arizona in 2011, along with John McDonald, for Kelly Johnson.
"That was the only organization that I knew, and they treated me and my family wonderfully," Hill said. "It's a great city, big city, had a lot of great times there. A lot of great memories."
The 31-year-old won the Silver Slugger Award with the Blue Jays in 2009 but failed to keep that momentum the following seasons, eventually leading to his trade.
"He was a really good player in Toronto for a number of years," said Gibbons, who managed Hill during his first stint with Toronto. "But sometimes you need a new look; that's not uncommon in baseball. Bottom line, though, is he's been a good player his whole career. He's very talented, and I know they love him over here."
• Both the D-backs and Blue Jays have had success during Interleague Play. Both clubs are 10-8 after Toronto's 4-1 victory Monday.
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.