KANSAS CITY -- Edwin Encarnacion has been playing through pain for most of the year, and he'll have to continue grinding through the postseason if the Blue Jays are going to have a chance in the American League Championship Series against the Royals. If he keeps producing, though, they'll take it.
Encarnacion was considered questionable for Game 2 on Saturday, but when the starting lineup was posted early in the afternoon, his name was on it. His presence didn't help avoid a 6-3 loss, but there were some encouraging signs with a pair of singles from the man Toronto can ill afford to lose.
The 32-year-old aggravated a sprained ligament in his left middle finger in Game 1. That forced him to go for X-rays and MRIs, but after receiving treatment Friday night and again Saturday morning, Encarnacion was cleared to play. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single and a pair of strikeouts.
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"The medicine that I have has helped me a lot," Encarnacion said after the loss. "I didn't feel any pain today. It's not going to be easy for me. Every time I'm going to swing, I never swing easy. I swing hard and I'm going to feel it."
Encarnacion is trying to stay on the field with laser treatment and a number of other medical procedures in an attempt to keep the pain level tolerable. It worked in Game 2, and the Blue Jays hope it remains that way for the rest of the series. Encarnacion put some padding around two of his fingers and taped them together in an effort to provide additional protection from impact.
In the second inning of Game 2, Encarnacion came through with a single to left field. Even more important was his at-bat in the sixth inning that came with a pair of runners on base and nobody out. Encarnacion had yet another single off Kansas City's Yordano Ventura, and this time it scored Josh Donaldson.
Sunday's off-day before Game 3 on Monday (7 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1 and Sportsnet, with game time at 8 p.m.) could not come at a better time for Encarnacion. He has dealt with this type of injury before, and it caused him to miss a handful of games at the end of July, early August and later in September. A few days off is usually all he needs to get back in the lineup, but at this time of the year, he'll have to settle for one.
"I'm going to try to do the best that I can do," Encarnacion said. "I played today, I'm going to keep doing my treatment and come back Monday."
Encarnacion is batting 8-for-25 (.320) with one homer and four RBIs in seven games this postseason. This is the first time he has ever appeared in the postseason, and unless Encarnacion suffers a severe setback, he won't be coming out of the lineup again any time soon.
"No signs of pain," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He had a good day."
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.