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Yangervis Solarte caps off five-hit, six-RBI day with game-winning grand slam

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Blue Jays infielder Yangervis Solarte played a big part in his team’s 13-11, 11-inning victory over the Indians on Thursday afternoon. He racked up five hits and a walk with six RBI in seven trips to the plate. In his final at-bat, he broke a 9-9 tie with a grand slam to left field.

It was a good thing Solarte hit a grand slam because Roberto Osuna yielded two runs to the Indians in the bottom half of the 11th.

Solarte is the first player with a five-hit, six-RBI game this season. It happened six times last year by Avisail Garcia, Eric Hosmer, Nolan Arenado, Andrew Benintendi, Scooter Gennett, and Anthony Rendon.

After Thusday’s performance, Solarte is batting .270/.359/.532 with eight home runs, 21 RBI, and 19 runs scored in 128 plate appearances.

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.