On Wednesday, Jose Bautista hit two game-tying home runs, one in the bottom of the ninth, and then delivered the winning single in the 10th inning in a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
They were big games against American League East rivals, and the Blue Jays' big players came up big. That's the way it is supposed to be.
If the Blue Jays have any chance at all this season of making a run at a postseason spot after a poor start, Bautista and Encarnacion will have to lead the charge.
They not only provide the power but they also get on base a lot when they are right.
Bautista has 11 home runs and 27 RBI. Encarnacion has 13 homers and 38 RBI.
"Our team is built around those guys, and when it's all said and done this year they'll both have big years like they always do," manager John Gibbons said.
"You look at a game like (Wednesday)," said catcher J.P. Arencibia, who hit a two-run homer and had four RBI on Thursday. "Jose pretty much won the game for us. And then you come back and different guys contribute (Thursday). So I think that's a sign of when things get going. It's a game of failure, so everyone's not going to be on their best every night, so everyone has to try to chip in and try to squeeze as many runs as we can."
The Blue Jays have won six of their past seven games at home and seven of their past 10 overall. In those 10 games, Bautista is hitting .412 with four home runs and 10 RBI and Encarnacion is hitting .351 with three homers and 13 RBI.
"We've been on a little bit of a roll," Gibbons said. "We've played some pretty good baseball."
They are at 20-27. Still a long way to go.
NEXT: Orioles (Chris Tillman, 3-2, 3.52) at Blue Jays (Sean Nolin, 0-0, 0.00).
LHP J.A. Happ is hoping to return by mid-June from injuries suffered when he was hit by a line drive earlier this month. Happ sustained a skull fracture, contusions that required stitches and a sprained right knee when he was hit on the left ear by a shot back to the mound from the bat of Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings during a May 7 game in St. Petersburg, Fla. While his head injuries are healing and his hearing loss is improving, the 30-year-old pitcher said he still has trouble walking and hasn't started running yet. He estimated he lost 30 percent of his hearing when he was hit but that it has improved. "I can hear everything pretty good," he said. "I feel like it's close to being back to normal."
LHP Sean Nolin will make his major league debut on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles after being called up from Double-A New Hampshire. He opened the season on the disabled list in the minors with a groin injury. In three starts at New Hampshire he was 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA. "He's up to 95 (mph) from the left side, throws a lot of strikes," GM Alex Anthopoulos said. "He has a deceptive delivery. Guys don't get good swings on his fastball, a bit like (J.A.) Happ in that respect. He's got a pretty good curveball and a pretty good changeup and slider as well. So he's a four-pitch guy who throws strikes, pretty good arm strength." The 22-year-old was taken in the sixth round in 2010 (186th overall) from San Jacinto Junior College. He emerged last season with a 9-0 record and 2.19 ERA in 17 outings, including 15 starts, with Class A Dunedin before going to Double-A, where he was 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three starts.
RHP Chad Jenkins will make the start Sunday instead of RHP Ramon Ortiz. Jenkins has been available in the bullpen but has not pitched since he won his first major league start of the season at Boston on May 12. Jenkins, who began the season on the disabled list in the minors with a sore shoulder, made one five-inning no-decision start (three hits, two runs) at Double-A New Hampshire before being called up.
C J.P. Arencibia hit his 11th homer of the season with one on in the fifth inning of Thursday's 12-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles. He finished with four runs batted in. The homer was his 53rd as catcher in 264 games with the Blue Jays. He has 38 hits this season, 19 for extra bases.
1B Edwin Encarnacion hit his fifth grand slam and his first of the season in the sixth inning against RHP Pedro Strop in Thursday's 12-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles. It was his 13th home run of the season and gave him 38 RBI.
RHP Brandon Morrow tied a career high by allowing three home runs, giving up six runs overall in seven-plus innings during the Blue Jays' 12-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. It was the first time this season—and sixth time in his career—that he has allowed three homers in a game. But he still got the win.
RF Jose Bautista had two walks in Thursday's 12-6 win over Baltimore. He has reached base in 35 of his 40 games this season. He has reached base in 10 of his past 13 plate appearances.
"Our team is built around those guys, and when it's all said and done this year they'll both have big years like they always do."—Manager John Gibbons, on 1B Edwin Encarnacion and RF Jose Bautista.
LF Melky Cabrera (hamstring and quadriceps irritation) was given May 22 off.
RHP Josh Johnson (right triceps inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 29. An MRI showed only inflammation. Johnson began a rehab assignment with Class A Dunedin on May 20 and is scheduled to pitch May 25 with Triple-A Buffalo.
OF Rajai Davis (left oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11.
LHP J.A. Happ (sprained right knee, skull fracture, lacerated left ear) went on the 15-day disabled list May 8. Tests indicated he did not sustain a concussion after taking a line drive to the head May 7. He is expected to be out until early to mid-June.
RHP Sergio Santos (triceps strain, bone chips in elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 15. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list May 19. He had successful surgery May 16 to remove bone chips and shave bone spurs. He is expected to be out until late June.
SS Jose Reyes (severe left ankle sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13, and he was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on April 23. He was out of the walking boot in mid-May and about to begin jogging. His expected return date is July.
RHP Dustin McGowan (right shoulder surgery in August 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 9. He began a rehab assignment May 14 with Class A Dunedin, and he moved his rehab to Triple-A Buffalo on May 18.
RHP Kyle Drabek (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 27. He isn't expected to return before midseason.
RHP Drew Hutchison (Tommy John surgery in August 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 22. He isn't expected to return until late in the season.
LHP Luis Perez (Tommy John surgery in July 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 23. He probably won't be available until late in the season.
RHP R.A. Dickey
RHP Brandon Morrow
LHP Mark Buehrle
RHP Ramon Ortiz
RHP Chad Jenkins
LHP Sean Nolin
RHP Casey Janssen (closer)
LHP Darren Oliver
LHP Brett Cecil
RHP Steve Delabar
LHP Aaron Loup
RHP Esmil Rogers
RHP Brad Lincoln
1B Edwin Encarnacion
2B Emilio Bonifacio
SS Munenori Kawasaki
3B Brett Lawrie
INF Adam Lind
INF Maicer Izturis
INF Mark DeRosa
LF Melky Cabrera
CF Colby Rasmus
RF Jose Bautista
OF Anthony Gose