Blue Jays 10, Devil Rays 8
TORONTO (AP)—Carlos Delgado sure woke up in a big way.
The Toronto slugger took cold medicine and a nap before the game, then hit four home runs Thursday night to become the 15th player in major league history to accomplish the feat
Delgado connected in all four of his at-bats, leading the Blue Jays over Tampa Bay 10-8. His first homer of the game was the 300th of his career.
“I can’t think of any other way to explain it, it just kind of happened,” he said. “It seems like everything you hit goes into the air and goes out. I wish I could do it more often.”
Delgado was the first player to homer four times in a game since former Toronto teammate Shawn Green did it for Los Angeles on May 23, 2002, against Milwaukee.
Lou Gehrig, Rocky Colavito and Pat Seerey also did it in the AL.
Delgado’s record-tying shot came leading off the eighth inning, a long drive to center field that tied it at 8.
Delgado flipped his bat and his teammates threw up their arms when he connected on a 2-2 pitch from Lance Carter to match the mark.
“I was pretty fired up. I’m not going to lie to you,” Delgado said. “As you can tell with the bat flip. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was on Cloud Nine out there and enjoying it.”
Once Delgado returned to the dugout, he took off his helmet and acknowledged the cheers from the crowd of 13,408 at SkyDome.
Delgado said he wasn’t feeling good before the game. He said he had a cold and took antibiotics.
“I forgot about it,” Delgado said. “I took a little nap before the game. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in a baseball game. It’s definitely the best day in my baseball career.”
The All-Star first baseman was the sixth player to homer in four straight at-bats in one game. Cameron also did it.
Delgado became the 98th player to reach 300 career homers with a three-run shot off Jorge Sosa in the first inning.
The ball hit off Windows restaurant and bounced back into center field. Delgado asked for the ball as he rounded the bases.
Delgado’s solo drive in the fourth gave Toronto a 4-1 lead, and he added another solo homer in the sixth off Joe Kennedy that tied it at 6.
Delgado finished his big night with homer No. 41. The six RBIs matched a career high and he now has 141 RBIs this season, setting a team record.
“It was unbelievable. I’ll always remember this,” teammate Vernon Wells said. “When he’s going good there is no telling what he’ll accomplish. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Delgado got three of the balls, including the last one. He said he would give the record-tying souvenir to his mom.
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.
Overall, it marked the fifth time Delgado has hit at least three homers in a game and his 36th multihomer game. His last three-homer game came April 20, 2001, at Kansas City.
“It was a Herculean effort,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s only been done five times in the American League. Delgado is capable of getting into those grooves.”
Tampa Bay’s Aubrey Huff hit his 34th home run, tying Jose Canseco for the club record.
Trever Miller (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win. Carter (7-5) took the loss.
Julio Lugo homered in his fourth straight game for the Devil Rays, who need to win one of their last three games at home against Boston to avoid 100 losses for the third straight year.
Delgado surpassed his own club record of 137 RBIs in 2000. … Cansecohit 34 for Tampa Bay in 1999.