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.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.