NEW YORK -- Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion was not in the starting lineup Monday for Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees due to a sprained right ankle.
Encarnacion missed his second straight game after he was injured in the first inning of Game 2, which Cleveland won 9-8 in 13 innings. Encarnacion was injured when he jammed his foot into second base while trying to get back to the bag in time to avoid a double play.
The Indians, who hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series, did not remove Encarnacion from their roster because he would be ineligible for the AL Championship Series.
Manager Terry Francona said the Indians were working toward a possible appearance as a pinch hitter if the need arose.
"We're working toward that," Francona said. "I would say, depending on how the rest of the day goes, you know we're not going to have an answer. If you see him strolling up to the plate, that means he is available."
Encarnacion was doubled off second but the injury appeared worse than what the Indians announced. After initially getting hurt, Encarnacion dropped to the ground in pain before being removed from Game 2.
During Saturday's off-day workout at Yankee Stadium, he was on crutches.
In the first season of a three-year contract, Encarnacion batted .258 with 38 homers and 107 RBIs. It marked his third straight season with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs.
Encarnacion was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance of Game 2 and was 0-for-3 with a walk in the series opener. In 22 postseason games, Encarnacion is hitting .269 (21-for-78) with four homers and 14 RBIs.
Michael Brantley replaced Encarnacion as Cleveland's designated hitter for the second straight game and batted fifth. He is 0-for-7 in the series after missing most of the last two months of the regular season with a sprained right ankle.
Brantley missed Cleveland's World Series run last season while recovering from two shoulder surgeries. He was limited to 90 games in the regular season and played two games after Aug. 8 following a sprained right ankle.
"I think the hope is that the more at-bats he gets, the more his timing will come back," said Francona, who planned on starting Brantley in left field for Game 3.