BOSTON -- The baseball that soared high over Fenway Park's famous Green Monster in the first inning on Wednesday night issued a pretty clear message: Edwin Encarnacion's right hand appears to feel just fine. The next home run removed all doubt.After being activated from the 10-day disabled list, Encarnacion launched
BOSTON -- The baseball that soared high over Fenway Park's famous Green Monster in the first inning on Wednesday night issued a pretty clear message: Edwin Encarnacion's right hand appears to feel just fine. The next home run removed all doubt.
After being activated from the 10-day disabled list, Encarnacion launched a pair of home runs in the Tribe's 10-4 loss to the Red Sox. He first went deep off Boston lefty Christopher Johnson in the opening frame and later added a blast off reliever Richard Hembree in the fifth. Both homers were two-run shots over the 37-foot wall in left field.
"Oh, man. What a nice way to get him back," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "To take a swing like he did the first at-bat, I'm sure helps you just to relax at the plate. That was really nice to see."
Encarnacion's first homer in his first at-bat off the DL had a 106.3 mph exit velocity and traveled a projected 419 feet to left-center, where it landed among the fans in the seats atop the wall. The one in the fifth was a high arcing fly ball down the left-field line -- it was one of 57 homers this year with a launch angle of at least 41 degrees, per Statcast™ -- but carried just enough.
"That ball started foul and then came back fair," Encarnacion said. "I don't know how I hit it."
Encarnacion's return came a day earlier than expected. Placed on the DL on Aug. 11 due to a right hand injury he sustained July 15, the slugger -- who has also been hobbled by a right biceps injury stemming from a swing he took Aug. 10 -- showed enough progress in batting practice to be activated.
"I'm just glad for him that he can go out there now and swing and be himself," Francona said, "because it's a big presence in our lineup."
With Wednesday's showing, Encarnacion is now batting .232 with 14 doubles, 27 homers and 85 RBIs in 105 games.
"What's not good is we lost, but that's part of the game," Encarnacion said. "I feel healthy and that's good for me and for the team, because I know I can help this team to win games. And it's great when you're feeling 100 percent -- you can be yourself. I am right now and we'll keep going."
Davis to the DL
In order to add Encarnacion to the roster, the Indians placed outfielder Rajai Davis (non-baseball medical condition) on the DL, retroactive to Monday.
While no details were disclosed about Davis' issue, the Indians expect to have him back in the fold when rosters expand Sept. 1. The fleet-footed center fielder has only two at-bats since Aug. 11, and he is batting .246 with 16 stolen bases in 21 attempts across 81 games in 2018. This marks his fifth career stint on the DL.
"It's something he's dealt with all year and kind of reared its head," Francona said. "So he's going to get it taken care of. It's about a 10-day thing."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.