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Encarnacion finishes Interleague stint at third

Encarnacion finishes Interleague stint at third

Encarnacion finishes Interleague stint at third

SAN FRANCISCO -- Edwin Encarnacion will return to his familiar spot at first base when the Blue Jays return home against the Rangers on Friday night.

Encarnacion got one last start at third Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. It was his fifth appearance at the position while the club went on a West Coast road trip during Interleague Play.

The situation wasn't exactly ideal, but the Blue Jays wanted to shift him across the diamond as a way to find increased playing time for designated hitter Adam Lind at first base.

"He's going to go back to first base," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "This was just for National League rules; it's fair to him. But he has done a nice job over there, he really has."

Encarnacion began his Major League career at third base but eventually transitioned to first because of his prolonged defensive struggles at the position. He's actually always fielded his position at third relatively well but frequently had issues with having an accurate throw to first.

The Dominican Republic native entered play Wednesday with a pair of errors in four games at third this season. That only added to his career woes as he now has a total of 114 errors in 668 games at the hot corner.

Despite the struggles at third, he has proven to be a very reliable defender at first. He also continues to be one of the Blue Jays' best hitters as he entered Wednesday's series finale with 17 homers and 48 RBIs in 58 games this season.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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