(Reuters) - Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion suffered a sprained ligament in the middle finger of his left hand in Friday’s loss to Kansas City in the American League Championship Series opener but manager John Gibbons hopes the slugger will be OK to play in Game Two.
Designated hitter Encarnacion went 0-for-3 before being replaced by pinch hitter Justin Smoak during the Blue Jays’ 5-0 loss to Kansas City.
While there is only a 16-hour turnaround, Gibbons was hopeful the injury would not keep him out of Saturday’s second game in the best-of-seven series.
“It (the finger) swelled up a little more than we’ve seen in the past,” Gibbons told reporters, adding that X-rays on the Dominican had revealed no fracture. “It’s an early game tomorrow so hopefully he’ll be ready to go.”
Encarnacion is not the only Blue Jay carrying an injury.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to action early this month after missing three weeks with a cracked shoulder blade.
“I know it’s still bothering him but he’s good enough to play,” Gibbons said of Tulowitzki, who went 0-for-4.
Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez pitched six strong innings before the bullpen finished the job.
The Blue Jay offense, the most powerful in the majors in the regular season, managed only three hits, courtesy of Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello and Ryan Goins.
Falling behind in a series is nothing new to the Blue Jays, however. They lost the first two games of their AL Division Series against the Texas Rangers before storming back to win the final three.
The Blue Jays will send David Price, their number one starter to the mound, for Game Two while Kansas City will start right-hander Yordano Ventura.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford