Baseball

Encarnacion expected back for Blue Jays in Texas

Edwin Encarnacion is expected to return to the lineup following a four-game absence with a sore wrist when the Toronto Blue Jays bid for a third-straight win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

The Toronto Blue Jays have used big innings to win the first two games of this four-game series and their lineup may be getting even stronger.

The Blue Jays could have Edwin Encarnacion back when they try to hand the Texas Rangers a third straight loss Wednesday night.

Toronto (11-12) has scored 16 runs and collected 21 hits to start this series. The Blue Jays scored six runs in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-4 victory and had five in the first in a 10-3 win Tuesday.

Adam Lind had an RBI single in the first inning before he homered in his next two at-bats to finish with five runs batted in.

"He hits us pretty good," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I hope we figure out how to get him out the next two days."

Lind has nine homers in his past 12 games in Texas. He had a pair of two-homer games there during the 2009 season, including a career-high eight RBIs on Aug. 31 of that year in an 18-10 victory.

"It's coincidence, I don't know," Lind said. "I remember my first two years, I didn't do anything here."

Toronto's lineup seems to be hitting its stride in this series around Jose Bautista, who leads the American League with a .362 average, eight homers and 23 walks. Corey Patterson has four hits in the series and Yunel Escobar and Juan Rivera three apiece.

The Blue Jays had 12 hits Tuesday.

"It was good to see some guys put some good swings right from the get-go, and history certainly speaks to what Adam Lind can do at this ballpark," Blue Jays rookie manager John Farrell said. "It's just very encouraging to see him with that kind of production as so many teams are now pitching around Jose on a regular basis."

Farrell indicated that Encarnacion could return Wednesday. The third baseman had 12 hits in his last 27 at-bats before missing the last four games with a sore left wrist.

The Blue Jays improved to 4-2 against left-handed starters by beating Matt Harrison on Tuesday and will see another Wednesday in Derek Holland (3-1, 4.39 ERA).

Holland has yielded five runs in each of his last two outings, but his seven-inning stint Friday was good enough for him to earn an 11-6 victory over Kansas City. He improved to 5-0 with a 3.89 ERA in his last seven home starts.

Holland is 1-1 with an 11.25 ERA in two starts against the Blue Jays.

Toronto's Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2, 6.20) has twice bounced back from short outings with seven-inning efforts over his first four starts. The right-hander gave up four runs over seven Friday in a 6-4, 11-inning victory over Tampa Bay.

Reyes' only start against Texas was June 18, 2008, with Atlanta. He yielded two runs over seven innings and did not get a decision in a 5-2 victory.

Rangers designated hitter Michael Young's 15-game hit streak ended with an 0-for-4 effort Tuesday. He batted .419 during the run.