PHOENIX - Esmil Rogers' dominant, one hit performance over six and a third innings was overshadowed by Edwin Encarnacion's personal milestone in the Blue Jays 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
Encarnacion's two run home run in the ninth inning was his 35th of the season, marking a second consecutive year with at least that many, vaulting him into elite Blue Jays' company.
Only Carlos Delgado (1998-01); Jose Bautista (2010-11); Shawn Green (1998-99) and Fred McGriff (1989-90) had achieved the feat.
“When you retire, when you don't be anymore in the game, you want to be remembered,” said Encarnacion. “It makes me feel good and all my family too.”
The home run also sent Encarnacion over the 100-RBI mark, also for the second-straight season.
“You know, Eddie's not just a slugger,” said manager John Gibbons. “Eddie comes up there with a plan. He's really a student of hitting. He spends a lot of time in that video room watching the pitchers.”
Give credit to Encarnacion for some of Brett Lawrie's success in August (.346/.397/.495.) Lawrie tagged along for many of Encarnacion's video sessions, Encarnacion helping Lawrie to identify pitchers' tendencies and how they were trying to get the youngster out.
“He doesn't say a whole lot, Eddie just keeps to himself but he's really a student of hitting,” said Gibbons.
The Triple-A Buffalo Bisons concluded their International League season on Monday, paving the way for the Blue Jays to take advantage of September's expanded rosters.
The club announced pitchers Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Luis Perez and Jeremy Jeffress, along with catcher Mike Nickeas, would arrive in Phoenix before the end of the series with the Diamondbacks.
Manager John Gibbons is in the process of determining each of the pitchers' roles and won't guarantee Romero or Drabek a start.
“Cecil's still a little bit tender,” said Gibbons of Cecil's pitching shoulder. “[Darren Oliver]'s been coming off the stiff back so we've been a little bit beat up down (in the bullpen.”)
Corresponding roster moves, to create space on the 40-man roster, will be announced on Tuesday.
It's safe to assume that Melky Cabrera will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Josh Johnson, who isn't throwing due to a forearm strain, is another candidate for the 60-day DL.
Assuming those two moves are made, the Jays would have to select a player to designate for assignment.
BAUTISTA GETTING CHECKED
Jose Bautista was in New York City on Monday, visiting orthopedic surgeon and hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly, for further medical evaluation on his injured left hip.
The slugger has been on the disabled list since August 21 with a bone bruise.
Bautista would be eligible to return in time for this weekend's series in Minnesota, although it remains unclear when – if – he will back this season.
“We'll have a better idea in the next couple of days after he sees that doctor,” said manager John Gibbons. “We still have a month left but once he gets cleared to go he's got to build up some baseball stuff again.”
Sometimes the numbers just match up.
Monday's starters had a lot in common when the day started.
The Blue Jays' Esmil Rogers, who wears jersey number 32, was 3-7 with a 5.03 ERA.
Arizona's Brandon McCarthy wears number 32 on his Diamondbacks' jersey. He, too, had a 5.03 ERA entering play. Also, like Rogers, McCarthy had three wins (his record was 3-8.)