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Video: MLB breaks a 17-year record for most home runs hit in a single month

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Justin Smoak hit the most significant home run of his career on Friday afternoon, smoking a 1-1 pitch from the Red Sox’ Doug Fister just over the center field fence to put the Blue Jays up 3-0 in the first inning. It was his 22nd homer of the season, eclipsing the career-best 20 home runs he hit with the Mariners back in 2013. According to MLB Stat of the Day, it was also the 1,070th home run recorded in June, an all-time best single-month record that edges out the collective 1,069 home runs hit during May 2000.

Smoak’s blast was followed by 23 more, including a two-run shot from Wilson Ramos, a three-run drive by Adam Duvall, Jose Abreu‘s 443-foot bomb, Todd Frazier‘s solo shot, Joey Gallo‘s blistering 113-m.p.h. home run, Joey Rickard‘s third homer, a two-RBI run from Rougned Odor, Eric Hosmer‘s 10th home run, a game-tying home run from Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Frazier’s solo drive, Charlie Blackmon‘s tie-breaking homer, a two-run shot by Paul DeJong, Stephen Vogt‘s shutout-snapping home run, a 420-foot blast by Mike Moustakas, Austin Barnes‘ grand slam, Brandon Belt‘s first home run in a week, Steven Souza Jr.’s three-run extra-inning homer, solo shots from Mark Trumbo and Mike Zunino, another long drive from Vogt, Brett Gardner‘s seventh-inning slam, Chris Owings‘ 10th knock of the season and Robinson Cano‘s three-RBI home run against the Angels.

Per MLB.com’s Andrew Simon, that’s 81 more home runs than the league totaled last June, at just 1,012. With eight games still left to finish on Friday evening, Major League Baseball’s new record currently stands at 1,093 home runs in the month of June.

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.