MLB News Story - Indians drop slumping Encarnacion from cleanup to 5th

 
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Indians drop slumping Encarnacion from cleanup to 5th

Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians have dropped slumping slugger Edwin Encarnacion from the cleanup spot for the first time this season.

Encarnacion was set to bat fifth instead of fourth Monday night at home against Tampa Bay. He hit cleanup in the first 36 games.

Encarnacion has struggled since signing a three-year, $60 million contract with Cleveland. He is hitting .206 with five homers and 11 RBIs.

The 34-year-old Encarnacion hit a home run on opening day, but has yet to provide the production the Indians expected when they signed him in January. He hit 42 homers and drove in 127 runs for Toronto last year.

Encarnacion is stuck in an 0-for-12 slump. He's batting .094 (3 for 32) with six RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Indians manager Terry Francona says he's confident it's only a matter of time until Encarnacion starts producing.

"I'm telling you, he's going to be fine," Francona said. "I know it hasn't been his best month. He'll be just fine."

Carlos Santana is batting cleanup after being moved from leadoff to fifth over the weekend.

Updated May 15, 2017

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