TOR@CIN: Kratz doubles in go-ahead run in the 9th

OAKLAND -- The Blue Jays could be on the verge of returning to their three-catcher system that worked so well for the club earlier this season.

Toronto manager John Gibbons hinted on Thursday afternoon that veteran catcher Erik Kratz could rejoin the Blue Jays at some point during their four-game series in Oakland.

Kratz proved to be particularly valuable vs left-handed pitching and shared the starting duties with fellow backstops Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole.

"We definitely could," Gibbons said of adding Kratz to the roster. "I thought it worked pretty well when we had it ... I can't say if it's going to happen, but ideally [yes] because I thought it worked out pretty good."

Kratz's future could be directly tied to the health status of Colby Rasmus. If the Blue Jays determine that Rasmus only needs a day or two of rest to recover from a right wrist injury, then the club likely could drop an outfielder to make room for Kratz.

Outfielders Brad Glenn and either Darin Mastroianni or Anthony Gose would appear to be the odd-men out if left-hander Brett Cecil and Kratz join the Blue Jays on the West Coast trip.

Rasmus day to day with sore right wrist

MIL@TOR: Rasmus slugs a solo shot to right

OAKLAND -- Colby Rasmus was held out of Thursday night's game vs. the Athletics because of a sore right wrist.

Rasmus suffered the injury during Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Brewers. He played all nine innings during that game but the discomfort lingered and he was scheduled for further medical evaluations on Thursday.

The Blue Jays are optimistic the injury isn't serious, but a timetable for his return won't be known until the medical staff takes a closer look. For now, Rasmus is considered day to day.

"He jammed his wrist into the fence," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "The trainers are checking with him. He didn't think it was too bad yesterday, but we've been wrong on those before."

Jose Bautista got the start at designated hitter for the third consecutive game on Thursday. He has yet to play the outfield since he sustained a minor left hamstring injury, but that is expected to change in the relatively near future.

The hope is that Bautista will be ready to play the field at some point during the four-game series in Oakland and could be cleared as soon as Friday. In the meantime, Toronto has used a temporary solution of putting Edwin Encarnacion in left field so the club can get both Bautista and Adam Lind into the lineup.

"He's not quite ready, we want to make sure he's good and ready," Gibbons said of Bautista. "Hopefully in the next couple of days."

Gibbons voices support for Encarnacion's ASG resume

MIL@TOR: Encarnacion hits a three-run, walk-off homer

OAKLAND -- Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the best hitters in the American League this season, but he could be facing an uphill battle to make the All-Star team.

Encarnacion was a distant fourth at the designated hitter position in fan voting when the final ballot update was released Sunday night. Baltimore's Nelson Cruz was first while Boston's David Ortiz is an early favorite to get voted in by the players.

That would seem to leave Encarnacion's status in the hands of former Toronto manager John Farrell. For his part, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thinks the numbers warrant a spot on the roster.

"I think it would be a nice honor for him," Gibbons said. "I know it's taxing on those guys, but he's earned that. Both [Encarnacion and Jose Bautista] have earned that."

Encarnacion entered play on Thursday night tied for the Major League lead in home runs with 26. He also led Cruz by one for the most RBIs in the Majors and is hitting .281 with a .370 on-base percentage and .973 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Worth noting

• Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil will be activated off the 15-day disabled list for Friday night's game in Oakland. Cecil hasn't pitched in the big leagues since he aggravated a groin injury on June 18 in New York. Cecil recently made a pair of relief appearances for Triple-A Buffalo and allowed one run over two innings.