Encarnacion has MRI on back, homers vs. Yanks

Encarnacion has MRI on back, homers vs. Yanks

NEW YORK -- Edwin Encarnacion has been experiencing some back pains the past few days, so he had a precautionary MRI on his back on Friday.

Manager John Gibbons said the back aggravates Encarnacion "every now and then," but he was in the Blue Jays' starting lineup, batting third as the designated hitter. This latest problem started during the series in Baltimore, but it didn't seem to faze him in his first at-bat Friday night as he belted a two-run homer off Yankees righty Hiroki Kuroda.

"He feels it more when he's out there on the field playing, standing all the time, so it helps him to DH," Gibbons said.

Encarnacion came off the disabled list on Aug. 15 with a right quad strain that sidelined him for a little more than a month. Since then, he was batting .219 with six homers and 17 RBIs entering Friday, but Gibbons said Encarnacion looks healthy and does not believe that his back has hindered him during the past month.

"I think his swing is fine," Gibbons said.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.