No player major league history has ever hit home runs in five consecutive at bats. Carlos Delgado is hoping to change that.
Delgado became the 15th player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a game when he connected on all four of his at bats Thursday to power the Blue Jays to a 10-8 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
“I can’t think of any other way to explain it, it just kind of happened,” said Delgado, whose first homer was the 300th of his career. “It seems like everything you hit goes into the air and goes out. I wish I could do it more often.”
The All-Star first baseman was the sixth player to homer in four straight at-bats in one game. Twenty-four players have done it over two games, two have done it three games and Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams homered in four consecutive at bats spanning four games back in 1957.
Toronto general J.P. Ricciardi said Delgado might have earned himself the AL MVP award with this performance.
“Tonight might be the thing that just catapults him in front of everybody else,” Ricciardi said.
The Blue Jays have won three in a row to improve to 17-6 in September.
The Indians have lost 16 of their last 21 games.
Indians ace C.C. Sabathia gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings, but it wasn’t enough as Cleveland lost to Minnesota 3-2 on Wednesday.
Rookie Jason Stanford will start for the Indians in the opener.
The 26-year-old left-hander is looking to notch his first career win. Stanford pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits in a 2-0 loss to Boston on Sept. 19 to fall to 0-3 in 12 career appearances.
STANDINGS: Indians - 4th place, 22 GB, AL Central. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 14 1/2 GB, AL East.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Stanford (0-3, 4.09 ERA). Stanford has given up just four runs in his last two starts, a span of 14 innings.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Corey Lidle (12-14, 5.90 ERA). Lidle needs one more win to match his career-high of 13. The veteran righty went 13-6 for Oakland in 2001. Lidle is 0-3 with a 4.74 ERA in four September starts. He went 7 1-3 innings on Saturday, yielding two runs and seven hits in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Jody Gerut, .281 avg., 22 HRs and 75 RBIs; Casey Blake, 80 runs; Milton Bradley, 17 SBs. Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .317 avg.; Delgado, 41 HRs and 141 RBIs; Delgado and Wells, 116 runs; Eric Hinske, 12 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 2-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - Cleveland is 9-4 on artificial turf. … OF Gerut has 12 home runs since the All-Star break. Blue Jays - 1B Delgado was the fifth AL player to homer four times, joining Mike Cameron, Lou Gehrig, Rocky Colavito and Pat Seerey. … OF Wells is tied for third in the AL with 116 RBIs. 1B Delgado leads the AL with 141.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 29-49 on the road; Blue Jays - 39-39 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - 2B John McDonald (back), 15-day DL; OF Bradley (back), 15-day DL; OF Matt Lawton (finger), 15-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Ryan Ludwick (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Ricky Gutierrez (back), 60-day DL; SS Omar Vizquel (knee), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.