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The 33-year-old is widely regarded as one of the top sluggers in baseball but that never could have been predicted in 2010. Encarnacion was frequently booed, made far too many errors at third base and his issues resulted in getting designated for assignment.
The good news for Toronto is that he later re-signed with the ballclub in free agency after being non-tendered by Oakland. The Blue Jays felt there was some untapped power in his bat, but this much production was never expected.
"Eddie's had a great career here in Toronto," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the two-time All-Star. "He was really kind of a late bloomer and it all came together for him, like [Jose] Bautista and [Josh] Donaldson. They're special players. Eddie doesn't talk a whole lot, just goes about and does his job. Well deserved."
Encarnacion's two-run shot in the third inning off right-hander Jake Peavy was the difference maker in Monday night's ballgame. It was his sixth home run of the season and his third of the month, which came as part of a 2-for-4 night at the plate.
The veteran first baseman/designated hitter is now 20 home runs behind Vernon Wells for third place on the club's all-time list. Carlos Delgado is the leader at 336 and Bautista is second at 249.
Encarnacion also ranks eighth on the club's list for RBIs (578), eighth in on-base percentage (.353), ninth in walks (401) and fourth in OPS (.870). Not bad for a guy who hit .240 and committed 18 errors during the season when he was temporarily cut loose.
"It means a lot for me," Encarnacion said. "I never thought I was going to be on that list. It feels good. ... I never thought about that. I was just enjoying the game, having fun."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. 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.