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Encarnacion plays third as Melky moves to DH

Encarnacion plays third as Melky moves to DH

Encarnacion plays third as Melky moves to DH

ST. PETERSBURG -- Edwin Encarnacion got another start at third base on Wednesday afternoon, as the Blue Jays looked to provide some rest to Melky Cabrera.

Encarnacion's move to third allowed the Blue Jays to open up a spot at designated hitter for Cabrera, who has battled sore hamstrings in both of his legs for most of the year.

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The 28-year-old Cabrera has appeared in all of Toronto's 77 games this season, but at times has been hobbled because of lingering soreness.

"We want those fly balls caught," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of giving Rajai Davis the start in left. "[Cabrera's] not injured by any means, and we need him."

Encarnacion temporarily transitioned to third base during Interleague Play, which allowed Adam Lind to remain in the lineup, starting at first. Encarnacion has now appeared in 10 games at third, but Gibbons stressed this is only a short-term fix and one that won't be used very often.

The 30-year-old Encarnacion began his Minor League career at third, before he moved over to first following prolonged defensive struggles at the position. He entered the year having committed 112 errors in 664 games at third, but has been relatively solid during limited action this season.

"He's a first baseman," Gibbons said. "He wants to be a first baseman."

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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