Ron Washington for manager of the year

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Not just because he has led the Rangers to a big division lead, but because he has made it clear that he understands what wins baseball games and who, exactly, is in charge:

Francoeur, a 2002 first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, hit .237 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 124 games this season with the Mets.

“We got him here to face lefties,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I’ll put him out there when we face lefties.” Washington said if Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are healthy they would definitely be in the outfield every day.

How hard was that?  And if Francoeur will get onboard with being a platoon player — which he wouldn’t do in New York — and adjust his offseason salary expectations accordingly, he may find himself playing major league baseball for a few more years.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.