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Reply To: ALCS G-2 & NLCS G-1 – Previews, Articles, Info. Saturday 10/17/15

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Blue Jays lineup not the same without Encarnacion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Blue Jays lineup without designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion is missing a big piece.

Encarnacion, who pounded 39 home runs and drove in 111 runs in the regular season, was pinch hit for in the eighth inning of Friday’s American League Championship Series game against the Royals when the Blue Jays had two runners on base.

Encarnacion left to have his left middle finger, which has been bothering him for a while, X-rayed. While the X-rays came back negative, it is questionable whether Encarnacion will start in a Saturday afternoon game.

“It swelled up a little bit more than we’ve seen it in the past,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “(He) did that early in the game. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.

“Usually a day or two it calms down on him and he’s able to get through it. We’ll see. It’s an early game tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go.

“That thing has been bothering him all year. Every now and then he takes a swing and it just — whatever happens, just grabs it.”

Justin Smoak, batting for Encarnacion, popped up foul to first baseman Eric Hosmer.

“This guy’s a gamer,” catcher Dioner Navarro said of Encarnacion. “He has a huge heart. In order for him to get out of the game, it must have been something serious. We count on him. He knows the team counts on him. So he’s doing everything possible to be in the lineup.”