Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion sat out Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees and Tuesday’s series opener against the Braves after aggravating a left middle finger injury on Saturday night. But he is back in the starting lineup Wednesday versus Atlanta right-hander Shelby Miller.
Encarnacion figures to get regular days off down the stretch so that the Jays can get him as close as possible to 100 percent health heading into the postseason. The team entered play Wednesday with a three-game lead over the Yankees in the American League East standings.
Encarnacion is batting .271/.365/.541 with 32 homers and 99 RBI in 130 games this season.
Ryan Braun has been scratched from the Brewers’ starting lineup Wednesday night against the Cardinals with tightness in his lower back.
That might sound like a fairly insignificant thing, but Braun has dealt with lower back discomfort off and on for the last two months and he acknowledged to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy that it’s something he might have to address over the offseason. He’ll be playing through pain the rest of the way.
Braun is batting .291/.361/.509 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI in 136 games this season for the Brewers, who entered play Wednesday with a record of 62-82.
When the Rangers picked up ace left-hander Cole Hamels from the Phillies at the July 31 trade deadline, it looked like a move designed to help the club more in 2016 and 2017 than 2015. Texas was buried in the American League West standings with only an outside shot at one of the Wild Card spots. But baseball is crazy, man.
Anaheim has fallen off, and Houston … well … here’s what just happened to Houston …
Yes, the Rangers are now in first place in the American League West for the first time this season.