Edwin Encarnación
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

New York Yankees designated hitter Edwin Encarnación exited the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday with an oblique strain.

The New York Yankees have experienced a serious setback in the midst of their doubleheader. During the first of the two-games against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, Edwin Encarnación exited early due to a left oblique strain.

The veteran designated hitter will return to New York early to undergo tests.

Not great news for the Yanks nor Encarnación. The 36-year-old just returned from the injured list on Sept. 3. Previously, he had been out since Aug. 3 with a fractured wrist.

Encarnación is someone they could definitely use as the head into the postseason. He has hit 12 home runs and has batted in 35 runners since coming over to the Yankees this season.

The slugger is currently posting a slash line of .246/.320/.514 for them and has proved to be a valuable bat in a lineup where it’s easy to fly under the radar.

Entering Thursday, the Yankees are the best team in baseball with 16 games left to play. They top the AL East by 8.5 games with a record of 95-51. They lead the race to possess the MLB’s best record by 0.5 games, with the Houston Astros right behind them at 95-52.

After their current road trip, which includes series against the Boston Red Sox, the Tigers, and the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yanks will return to the Bronx on Tuesday. From there, they’ll take part in a six-game homestand which includes series against the Los Angeles Angels and the Blue Jays once more.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.