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Blue Jays cut ties with Shea Hillenbrand

TORONTO, July 19 (UPI) -- The Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment.

The move came just before a 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

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The six-year veteran designated hitter, who left the team last Friday, had been critical of team management, and refused to sit on the Toronto bench during a 5-2 loss on Tuesday.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that Hillenbrand was not included in a players-only meeting before that Wednesday night's contest.

"Yeah, I was very surprised," Hillenbrand said on the team's Web site after not being included in the lineup the night before. "They knew when I was going to be here. I should've just stayed home."

"He's been out four days (and) needs a workout in the field," said Manager John Gibbons.

Hillenbrand was hitting .301 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI in 296 at-bats.

He has a career average of .290 with 95 homers and 430 RBI.

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