MLB

MacArthur: Lind expected to return; Encarnacion to Buffalo

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Scott MacArthur
8/12/2014 1:49:07 AM
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SEATTLE – After a minor setback, back tightness, pushed his expected return back one day, Adam Lind is scheduled to return to the Blue Jays' lineup in time for Tuesday night's game in Seattle.

Lind's bat has been sorely missed against right-handed pitching. He's posted a .369/.434/.570 slash line against righties. Each of his four home runs and 17 total extra-base hits has come off right-handers.

The news is almost as positive on Encarnacion.

He will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday night.

The Blue Jays are targeting Friday night in Chicago for Encarnacion's return.

Despite missing more than five weeks with a quadriceps strain, Encarnacion's 26 home runs rank as the fifth-most in baseball this season.

MILLS ONE AND DONE

Left-hander Brad Mills, added to the roster to offer the Blue Jays bullpen depth, pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief of Drew Hutchison in Monday's 11-1 loss to the Mariners.

He allowed five runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two.

Mills was designated for assignment after the game, a move which removes him from the 40-man roster.

In two appearances with the Blue Jays this season (the other, two innings of eight-run ball on July 21 versus Boston), Mills has pitched to an ERA of 27.00.

THE DAY AFTER THE EVENING BEFORE

Chad Jenkins' six innings of work on Sunday marked his longest outing of the season. He threw 73 pitches, tying his second-highest total of the year.

During one of his on option stints with Triple-A Buffalo, Jenkins was a starter. He threw a season-high 82 pitches over 5 1/3 innings on May 29. His other 73-pitch appearance came in the game prior, a five inning outing.

"A little sore. My back's a little tight. The plane ride obviously didn't help much (Sunday) night," said Jenkins. "Other than that I feel great. I threw today. My arm feels fantastic. Hopefully I'll be ready to go in a couple of days."

Never before had the Blue Jays played in a 19-inning game. Never before had the franchise competed for more than six hours in a single day.

"It's more fun to know that I'm part of Blue Jays' history," said Jenkins. "(Pitching coach) Pete (Walker) came in and he's like, 'Hey, you broke my record.' I'm like, 'What record?' and he goes, 'I was the winning pitcher for the longest game' and he goes 'I threw four innings in relief so you not only one-upped me but you did it in a longer game.'"

Just to correct the record, Walker pitched the final three innings of the Blue Jays' 18-inning, 2-1 win over the Angels on July 28, 2005.

Aaron Loup pitched the final inning and got the win in the franchise's only other 18-inning game, a 4-3 win over Texas on June 8, 2013. Brad Lincoln had pitched the previous four innings.

Jenkins is on his fifth recall of the season. He's spent more time driving the QEW between Toronto and Buffalo than anyone would care to. Following Sunday's game, with the bullpen used up, it would have made business sense to option Jenkins to Buffalo for a fresh arm. The club did add left-hander Brad Mills to the roster on Monday but at the expense of infielder Ryan Goins.

"After (Sunday's) game, you send him down, that can be a morale killer," said manager John Gibbons. "You know, (with) what he did for the guys."

"It's a huge confidence boost to know that Gibby and Pete and all those guys were fighting for me. They wanted me to stay," said Jenkins. "It's a huge pick-me-up because I was sitting there thinking in the bullpen, 'Well, I'm definitely going to get sent down after this game so I might as well go out with a bang.' It was nice. We got the 'W' and I got to make a plane flight."

DICKEY WAS NEXT

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would have been the Blue Jays' next pitcher had Sunday's marathon with the Tigers gone to a 20th inning.

"It's been a while since I came out of the 'pen so I just got myself as hot as I could get myself and just shut it down and was going to start playing catch again with two outs," said Dickey. "But when we got first and third with nobody out (in the 19th), I just was hoping, hoping, and we did. We pulled it off."

Dickey's last relief appearance came in his 2012 Cy Young season with the Mets. It didn't go well. He pitched the ninth inning of an 8-5 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field on July 21 of that year, giving up two runs.

Having started on Friday, Sunday was Dickey's bullpen day. He threw his side session prior to the game and also did a heavy weight lift.

He'd have done his best. Maybe he'd have felt less pressure entering a situation with which he was unaccustomed? Take the "nothing to lose" mentality?

"That's one way to go," said Dickey. "Or the other way is, 'my teammates have just busted their ass for 19 innings and it's up to you now, off the bench cold, to try to help out. There are a bunch of mindsets to try to cling on to. You try to cling to the one that gets you to your happy place."




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