PHOENIX -- Count Edwin Encarnacion among those who wishes the Blue Jays played at Chase Field more than once every few years.Encarnacion has put up some eye-popping numbers at the D-backs' home ballpark, and he was back at it again Tuesday night. The veteran slugger hit a three-run shot to
PHOENIX -- Count Edwin Encarnacion among those who wishes the Blue Jays played at Chase Field more than once every few years.
Encarnacion has put up some eye-popping numbers at the D-backs' home ballpark, and he was back at it again Tuesday night. The veteran slugger hit a three-run shot to help lead the Blue Jays to a 5-1 victory in the series opener.
The deep shot to left was Encarnacion's ninth home run in 16 career games at Chase Field. Eight of those nine have come in the seven games he played here while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. He can't explain it, but the numbers don't lie.
"I see the ball really well here and I feel confident in this ballpark, so it works out," Encarnacion said through an interpreter after the game. "Maybe it's the hitter's eye, it's really big, the green wall. Maybe it's that, I don't know."
Encarnacion is hitting .480 (12-for-25) with 15 RBIs in his last seven games at Chase Field since joining the Blue Jays in 2009. The most productive series came back in '10, when he hit three home runs in the same game and five over the course of the three-game series.
It might be a coincidence, but it does seem like every ballplayer has his favorite park to hit in. For José Bautista, it's Target Field in Minnesota, where he has 14 home runs in 21 games. For Encarnacion, Camden Yards in Baltimore and Fenway Park in Boston were at the top of the list, but Chase Field might have moved into first place.
"The only problem is he's a free agent and they have [Paul] Goldschmidt here," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said with a laugh. "If they had an average Joe, they might sign him. I don't know what it is, but he likes hitting here."
The three-run shot by Encarnacion gave the Blue Jays an early 3-1 lead in the third, and it provided all the offense the club would need. It was his 25th home run of the year, and he now has a Major-League leading 84 RBIs.
Encarnacion has five seasons in a Toronto uniform with at least 25 home runs, which is the fourth most in franchise history. Carlos Delgado leads the way with nine seasons of 25-plus home runs while Joe Carter and Bautista each have six. Encarnacion's latest came on a hanging curveball from right-hander Zack Godley, and according to Statcast™, it was projected to land 428 feet away and left his bat at 106 mph.
"I just missed it in the first at-bat, so I was looking for it in the second at-bat and I didn't miss it that time," Encarnacion said.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.