Blue Jays 13, Pirates 8
TORONTO (AP)—Carlos Delgado looks as good at the plate as he did three years ago.
Delgado, who leads the majors with 70 RBIs, reached 20 home runs for the eighth time—surpassing Joe Carter’s club record of seven. He became the fastest Toronto player to reach 70 RBIs, doing it in 64 games.
The slugging first baseman hit .344 with 41 home runs and 137 RBIs three years ago. Asked if he’s having a better year than he did in 2000, Delgado said: “What happened in 2000?”
Delgado received a $68 million, four-year contract after his huge 2000 season.
“Yeah, 2000 was pretty cool, but I don’t look back,” Delgado said. “I don’t try to compare what happens. I’m just living right now.”
Delgado leads all players with 34 career interleague homers and 99 RBIs. Last week, he said he hated interleague play.
After he tied it at 5 with a three-run homer off Kris Benson (5-7) in the second inning, Hudson and Phelps hit back-to-back homers off Benson in the third, giving Toronto a 7-5 lead.
“It seems like every time I come up I have guys in scoring position,” Delgado said. “They make it a lot easier on me.”
Benson allowed eight runs on eight hits in just 2 1-3 innings for the Pirates, who have lost three straight and six of seven.
“We have to hit our spots. We have to have command. We aren’t doing our job,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Brian Giles, who has reached base in 13 of his last 15 plate appearances, homered and went 3-for-4.
Toronto’s Howie Clark went 4-for-4, setting a career high for hits. Toronto outhit Pittsburgh 19-14. Every Blue Jays starter had a hit.
“It’s fun to sit back and watch our club produce offensively,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.
Tosca said Delgado takes pressure off his teammates.
“He just continues to produce. He’s a big force in our lineup. I’m happy for him because he’s a leader in our clubhouse, and he’s a true professional.”
Phelps, who had three RBIs, tied it at 2 with a two-run single in the first.
Vernon Wells drove in his 60th run of the season with a single in the third, giving Toronto an 8-5 lead.
Matt Stairs, activated from the disabled list before the game, homered off Lidle in the sixth. Giles homered off Lidle in the seventh.
Lidle won despite allowing seven runs—six earned—on 12 hits in six innings.
“Nine wins and a 5.00 ERA doesn’t add up, but I’ll take it,” said Lidle,who has a 5.07 ERA.
Delgado reached 70 RBIs in 76 games in 2000. George Bell also reached 70 in 76 games for Toronto in 1987. … Delgado went 1-for-4 with two walks. … The Blue Jays have hit back-to-back home runs three times this season. … Toronto left-hander Mark Hendrickson is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse if he struggles in his start Thursday. “We thought we would give him another start to see how he is,” Tosca said. The former NBA player is 4-5 with a 5.96 ERA in 13 starts. Tosca said he is not suited for the bullpen. … Stairs went 2-for-3. He had been on the disabled list since May 22 with a tornligament in his right index finger.