Encarnacion gets outfield start

Encarnacion gets outfield start

Encarnacion gets outfield start
ATLANTA -- With the Blue Jays' offense averaging 2.7 runs during their three-game losing streak entering Sunday, manager John Farrell wanted to do all he could to put together the best lineup for their series finale against the Braves.

That desire led to Edwin Encarnacion making his first appearance as an outfielder in the Major or Minor Leagues. Encarnacion has mostly played third base during his eight-year Major League career and has primarily been the Blue Jays' designated hitter this season. He replaced regular left fielder Rajai Davis.

The move allowed Farrell to use first baseman David Cooper, a left-handed hitter, against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

"[I] wanted another left-handed bat in the lineup, and David has been very productive since he's come up," Farrell said about Cooper before the game. "Trying to get as much offense in the lineup as possible, and if Ricky [Romero is] on his game, likely he'll just put the ball on the ground."

While the Blue Jays had one of their best offensive days of the season, beating the Braves, 12-4, Cooper wasn't much of a factor. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before Davis came into the game as a defensive replacement in left field and Encarnacion shifted to first base.

Before the change, however, Encarnacion held his own in left field. He made two catches, both in the bottom of the fifth inning -- even going back to the wall to track down a deep fly ball.

"Edwin has worked hard at it, even though today is the first exposure during the regular season that we've given him in left field," Farrell said. "He handled it fine."

Davis left Saturday's 5-2 loss with a blister on his left index finger, but showed no ill effects in the three innings he played on Sunday. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI.