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Encarnacion unable to lug lumber

Encarnacion unable to lug lumber

CINCINNATI -- While his teammates prepared to head out for batting practice Friday, there were no bats anywhere near third baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Because of a sprained left wrist, Encarnacion is still unable to swing and his return status remains day-to-day.

"I'll have to wait a couple of more days," Encarnacion said. "I'm still feeling some pain a little bit. We'll see what happens tomorrow."

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For the second consecutive game, rookie Adam Rosales started at third base for the Reds. Rosales was 2-for-4 in Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Cardinals, and he notched the first RBI of his career with a second-inning single. He also stole second base and hit a double in the seventh inning.

Encarnacion is batting .256 with 25 homers and 65 RBIs this season. With nine games remaining after Friday, Reds manager Dusty Baker believes Encarnacion could return before the season ends.

"The wrist doesn't heal easily," Baker said. "If he can play, play. There are some things he wants to accomplish. I always tell my guys if you can play and round off your numbers -- if you have a chance for 70 RBIs or to hit .260, it doesn't sound like much, but it's better than 68 RBIs and .268. He doesn't want to end the season hurt if he can help it."

When Encarnacion does return, he'll set a career high in games played with 140.

"Yeah? I didn't know that," said Encarnacion.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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