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Indians’ Edwin Encarnacion expected to return for Game 5

Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians receives medical attention after an

Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians receives medical attention after an injury against the  Yankees during Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on Oct. 6, 2017, in Cleveland. Credit: Getty Images / Jason Miller

CLEVELAND — A heavy hitter missing from the Indians’ lineup for much of this ALDS is set to give it a try Wednesday night. Edwin Encarnacion, who hit 38 homers and drove in 107 runs for one of the best offenses in baseball, sprained his right ankle in the first inning of Game 2 and hasn’t played since.

Yankees pitching, of course, has had plenty to do with it, but the Indians’ offense, after an outburst in Game 2 to post a 9-8, come-from-behind victory, has struggled since.

Encarnacion worked out on the field Tuesday afternoon, and manager Terry Francona said, “I think he’ll be OK,” to be in the lineup for the deciding Game 5.

Cleveland scored a total of three runs in two losses in the Bronx as the Yankees evened the series. The Indians have hit .173, with 46 strikeouts in 133 at-bats.

“We know how dangerous he is,” Joe Girardi said of Encarnacion, who routinely terrorized Yankees pitching during his 7½ seasons with the Blue Jays. “You look at Edwin, he’s probably been one of the best RBI guys in our league for the last three or four years. That’s who he is. He knows how to drive in runs. He changes the lineup.”

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Girardi did not spend the flight from New York Tuesday afternoon going over potential lineups and scouting reports.

“I tried to relax and I watched a movie,” Girardi said.

His selection?

“Megan Leavey,” a biopic film released this year about a Marine corporal and her “bond with her military combat dog,” according to IMDB.com.

“An outstanding movie if you haven’t seen it,” Girardi said.

Weather report

Although rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, most of it is expected to fall earlier in the day before clearing out later by early evening.

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