Navarro fine after getting clipped by bat

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro. Peter Power/CP

TORONTO – Dioner Navarro expects to be ready to play in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays despite a bruise suffered when Jose Molina’s backswing clipped his left index finger.

The incident happened in the third inning of Tuesday’s 9-6 Toronto Blue Jays victory, on the second pitch of what was a very rough at-bat for the catcher. On the next offering Molina tipped the ball off Navarro’s right forearm, and as he was shaking it off Mark Buehrle appeared to grin at his batterymate.

Did he laugh?

“I don’t know, I’m going to check the video,” said Navarro.

And if he did?

“I’ll let him know I throw harder than him,” he quipped, “hit him with the ball in the forearm and see if he’s going to laugh.”

The Blue Jays are fortunate their catcher can joke about the sequence. Navarro needed a couple of minutes to shake the pain off after Molina caught his finger, and trainers George Poulis and Mike Frostad worked on him between him innings to help him stay in the game.

Good thing for the Blue Jays, too, as Navarro’s RBI single in the fourth tied the game 2-2, and helped propel his team to an eighth straight victory.

“At that moment the adrenaline is going, we just scored and it turned out to be huge at-bat,” said Navarro. “I was trying to put the ball in play and make something happen.”

As for Buehrle, he may have had a laugh at Navarro’s expense, but his appreciation for his catcher was evident.

“He came out and said, ‘I think my finger is broken,’” said Buehrle. “I kind of pushed him back and said, ‘I can’t see this because I’ll faint right here.’ He stayed in the game and there’s a few times I threw some pitches, you could see he put his head down and grimaced a little bit. You knew he was in pain but he stayed in the game.

“I can’t say (enough) about him fighting through that. Hats off to him for toughing it out.”

The Blue Jays made it eight straight wins, and Michael Grange examined what the current streak means.

Edwin Encarnacion is at 14 homers and counting in May, matching Jose Bautista’s club record for homers in a single month established in June 2012. I took a look at why teams are still throwing him strikes last night.

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