06/06/10 8:00 PM ET
Encarnacion's day off simply for rest
By James Hall / MLB.com
Manager Cito Gaston would not go into much detail, but he insisted that the move was just a precaution and nothing more. While Encarnacion was available to pinch-hit, outfielder Jose Bautista slid over to take his spot at third, with Jeremy Reed -- who entered the game with just 15 at-bats this season -- getting the start in right field.
Encarnacion, who scored the winning run in Saturday's 14-inning affair with the Yankees -- a 3-2 Jays win -- was hitting .224 with eight home runs heading into Sunday's game.
Homer to right a rarity for Wells
TORONTO -- In the second inning of Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Yankees in 14 innings, Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells drove a 2-1 offering from Andy Pettitte to right field for his 14th home run of the season.
While home runs are certainly a common occurrence for Wells this year -- his 15th came in Sunday's 4-3 loss -- the location of Saturday's solo shot was unique.
It was the first home run that Wells had hit to right field since Sept. 4, 2006, against then-Indians starter -- and current Yankee -- CC Sabathia. Until Saturday, Wells had hit each of his past 66 home runs to left field -- a streak he was reluctant to break.
"It was an accident," Wells said with a smile before Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay jokingly chimed in: "He broke the streak."
With the Jays off to a fantastic 33-24 start entering Sunday, it appears Wells is not the only Blue Jays player who's a tad superstitious.
"I started taking the same way to the stadium," manager Cito Gaston said. "I just [wanted] to see what happens."
Gaston graciously declines All-Star invite
TORONTO -- Expectations were not particularly high for the Blue Jays heading into 2010, making their 33-24 record entering Sunday all the more impressive. It was therefore fitting -- especially after his club defeated the World Series champion Yankees on both Friday and Saturday -- that Jays manager Cito Gaston would be asked to help coach this year's All-Star Game in Anaheim.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who will lead the American League All-Stars at next month's Midsummer Classic, called Gaston prior to Friday's contest to see if he would accept the invitation.
Gaston, whose career as a player and manager has spanned more than four decades, respectfully declined.
"I was very pleased and very happy that he asked me," Gaston said. "I think it's an honor that he asked me, and I told him I appreciate it, but I'd like to spend that time with my family.
"I certainly will want to shake his hand and tell him how much I appreciate him thinking of me."
During what would have been his fifth All-Star Game appearance -- he participated in three as a manager (1991-93) and one as a player (1970) -- Gaston has decided to remain in Toronto, where his family resides, using the half-week -- July 12-15 -- to recharge the batteries.
"Sometimes you need those days off," Gaston said. "It's something that you just need to get a way from [occasionally]."
Vernon Wells entered Sunday riding a season-high 13-game hitting streak, the longest by a Blue Jays player this season and the longest current streak in the Majors. ... The Blue Jays, who have hit a Major League-best 96 home runs, also boast the best homer differential in the Majors. The Jays entered Sunday having surrendered only 39 long balls all year, the second-lowest total in the American League, giving them a differential of 57 home runs. ... In eight games since moving to the No. 7 spot in the batting order, first baseman Lyle Overbay has bumped his batting average up to .233 from .197, having hit .419 (13-for-31) over that span. ... The home run allowed by Ricky Romero in the fifth inning of Saturday's game was the first by a Toronto starter in 61 innings, dating back to May 25 in Anaheim.
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.