MacArthur: Blue Jays return home banged up

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Scott MacArthur
7/1/2013 7:00:38 PM
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TORONTO - Monday's 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers got the Toronto Blue Jays back to the break-even mark in their seemingly constant flirt with .500.

It was an important win coming off a 2-5 road trip through American League East-rival cities Tampa Bay and Boston and because the Tigers are scheduled to pitch the nasty trifecta of Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander over the next three nights.

Not to mention the injury bug. With R.A. Dickey pitching at full health and showing it on the mound (seven innings, two earned runs on Monday) and Jose Reyes back in the lineup, the ranks of the infirmary seemed to be thinning.

However, Edwin Encarnacion – more on him in a moment – and Adam Lind are nursing nagging injuries which kept them out of Monday's game.

Lind's back, which was a problem for him during three down seasons between 2010-2012, is once again an issue. This time, the issue is mid-back. He says his lower back, the scene of the previous trouble, is fine.

"Hopefully it's just a couple of days," said Lind. "I came out of the game (Sunday) so it would only be a couple of days instead of trying to play through it and turn it into a month."

Lind, who took up yoga in the offseason to better keep his muscles loose and improve flexibility, has been unable to continue with classes in-season due to the demands of the playing schedule. He has maintained an exercise routine but admits there have been moments this year when his back has wrenched.

It's just that Sunday felt different and, like he gives partial credit to maturity and a better understanding of himself for his offensive turnaround, Lind is taking the conservative approach to dealing with this latest setback.

"I could have came out the last few years but I decided to try and stick it out and play a few extra innings which resulted in a month on the DL," said Lind. "I didn't want to put myself through that again. It just wasn't the smart thing to do."

Lind is hitting .327/.386/.547 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. He admits the last 24 hours have been emotionally taxing, worrying about an injury recurrence interrupting his bounce back season.

"I feel better (today)", said Lind. "I can take deep breaths. I'm in a better mental situation than I was yesterday. I was pretty rattled and shook up ... I was pretty distraught, especially for a couple of innings and then it took a doctor like four innings to get to the clubhouse. It was just like, come on. I was pretty shook up."

Meantime, Mark DeRosa, also ailing, was pressed into action Monday afternoon when Encarnacion was a late scratch with tightness in his left hamstring.

Encarnacion, 30, is having an all-star-calibre season. His slash line is .270/.350/.537 and his 23 home runs and 66 RBI lead the club.

Encarnacion's also been dealing with nagging pain in his wrist.

DeRosa's three-run home run in the fourth off Tigers' reliever Luke Putkonen gave the Jays an 8-2 lead and put the game out of reach.

DeRosa played with pain in his neck, which he's dealt with sporadically since 2008. He believes it's the result of a bulging disk.

The absence of Lind and Encarnacion, who remain on the active roster, left manager John Gibbons with only Emilio Bonifacio on his bench.

Gibbons says he doesn't anticipate the Blue Jays having to make a roster move to deepen the reserve.

Adam Lind (Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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