Edwin Encarnacion slugs three home runs as Blue Jays thrash Tigers

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Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion crushed three home runs and knocked in a career-high nine runs this afternoon as part of a 15-1 thrashing of the Tigers at Rogers Centre.

It was his second career three-homer game. Encarnacion connected for a three-run homer off Buck Farmer in the first inning before adding a two-run shot off Guido Knudson in the sixth and a grand slam off Alex Wilson in the seventh.

Appropriately enough, some fans in Toronto threw their hats on the field to acknowledge the hat-trick for Encarnacion. Everybody seemed to get a kick out of it. Except for the Tigers, I mean. Check it out below.

Lost in today’s power exploits, Encarnacion also extended his MLB-best hitting streak to a career-high 24 games. The 32-year-old is batting .269/.358/.538 with 29 home runs and 90 RBI over 117 games on the year.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.