Encarnacion gets breather with sore finger

Blue Jays may let slugger sit for entire series against Braves

Encarnacion gets breather with sore finger

ATLANTA -- Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion missed his second consecutive game in Tuesday night's 3-2 loss to the Braves because of a sore left middle finger, and he remains day to day.

Encarnacion missed two games at the end of July and four more in August with the same injury, and he recently aggravated it during an awkward swing in New York. He struck out during the sixth inning of Saturday night's game vs. the Yankees and hasn't played since.

Toronto manager John Gibbons doesn't think the injury is a big deal, but he did concede that it's possible Encarnacion would sit for the three-game series in Atlanta to make sure it heals properly.

"He wasn't complaining to the trainers, and then in New York he did," Gibbons said. "I don't think it's going to be much longer. I hope not."

The Blue Jays can't afford to lose Encarnacion for an extended period of time, especially considering that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is out for the next two-to-three weeks with a crack in his left shoulder blade. Light-hitting Cliff Pennington has replaced Tulowitzki in the lineup, which has cost Toronto some production with the bat.

Encarnacion entered Tuesday batting .271 with 32 homers, 99 RBIs and a .906 OPS in 130 games this season. Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak will split time at first base during the Interleague series in Atlanta if Encarnacion is not able to make it back before the upcoming three-series homestand.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.