Slugger homers twice vs. Red Sox for first dingers of season
By Maureen Mullen
Special to MLB.com |
BOSTON -- Edwin Encarnacion entered Friday's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park with just one extra-base hit this season, a double in the Blue Jays' win over the Yankees on Thursday.
He wasted little time adding to those numbers in Friday's 5-3 loss. In his first at-bat, he hit a leadoff home run in the second inning off Boston right-hander Rick Porcello. In the seventh, he mashed a two-run homer off Porcello, and he added a single off closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.
"That's big for Eddie," manager John Gibbons said. "Eddie's a home run hitter, and that was his first of the year, so he feels good about that. And he's dangerous. Really, that's what we can do."
Encarnacion entered the game hitting .345 (10-for-29) with a home run and six RBIs in his career against Porcello.
"He's got good command of his pitches, and he's throwing the ball [to] both sides of the plate, and he got a good night tonight," Encarnacion said.
It was Encarnacion's 22nd career multihomer game and his fourth against the Red Sox. He had not hit a home run since hitting four in four games from Sept. 28 - Oct. 3 last season. The RBIs were his first since Sunday against the Red Sox in Toronto.
Despite the power performance, Encarnacion said he didn't notice anything different in his swing.
"I don't feel [anything]," he said. "I hit the ball good. I looked for my pitch, and he throw me a pitch right there, and I don't miss it."
After hitting just .236 (42-for-178) in his first 53 career games against the Red Sox, Encarnacion is hitting .323 (53-for-164) with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in his past 43 games against them since May 12, 2013, with an RBI in six of his past nine games against Boston.
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, though, Encarnacion's three hits accounted for the entirety of their offense on Friday.
"If we get a few more guys heated up, anyway, there's different guys in the lineup that can burn you, especially in a ballpark like this," Gibbons said.
"Really, in our division, you get a guy on or two, and the next thing you know, you pop one -- it can change the whole complexion of the game. But that can also work against you, too, in this division. But, yeah, Eddie's going to have a big year. A lot of guys are going to have big year. We just haven't gotten going yet."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.