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Toronto’s Carlos Delgado Hits Four Homers
TORONTO, ONTARIO—- Carlos Delgado was lucky and good.
The Toronto Blue Jays slugger became the 15th player to hit four homers in a game, opening the bottom of the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Devils Rays with a mammoth blast to center field.
Delgado also homered in the first, fourth and sixth innings. He put his name in the record books in the eighth, crushing a 2-2 pitch from reliever Lance Carter over the luxury boxes in center field.
The first blast of the game was the 300th of Delgado’s career. He has 41 homers this season and has hit at least 30 in seven straight years.
“It’s definitely the best day of my baseball career,” Delgado said.
“I can’t believe it’s happened. I got lucky and I got some good pitches to hit. I wish I could do it more often.”
“It’s unbelievable, it couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “He’s a special baseball player.
He was some kind of locked-in tonight.”
Delgado became just the fifth American League player but the second in as many seasons to accomplish the feat. Seattle’s Mike Cameron did it on May 2, 2002. Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers did it three weeks later.
With six RBI, Delgado assumed the major league lead, passing Colorado’s Preston Wilson.
“You can’t talk MVP without talking about Carlos,” Tampa Bay designated hitter Aubrey Huff said. “That ranks right up there with one of the best games in major league history. There were no cheapies, either. He put a charge in all of them.”
Delgado staked the Blue Jays to a 3-0 lead in the opening inning. His blast off Jorge Sosa made him just the 98th player to reach 300.
His second homer, a line drive to right off Sosa in the fourth, gave him 36 career multi-homer games. He added a solo shot in the sixth off Joe Kennedy.
Delgado had four career three-homer games coming into the contest.
“The first at-bat was a fastball, the second at-bat was a changeup down, then a hanging slider,” Delgado said.
“It was fun to watch,” Kennedy said. “I tried to come in on him. I threw a curveball that was at least a foot off the plate and he hit it out.”
Delgado’s historic blast in the eighth tied the game and Toronto went on to score two more in the inning for a 10-8 triumph.
“I was just trying to get on,” Delgado said of the last at-bat.
“He’s got a pretty good changeup. He’s a crafty guy. The moment that I start thinking that I want to hit that guy too hard, I get in trouble. I was pretty fired up after it went out. I was on cloud nine.”
“I had a real strong feeling he’d hit the fourth one even though his history against that kid hasn’t been good,” Tosca said.