On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox exploded for 8 home runs en route to a 20-4 drubbing of the Detroit Tigers. But wait, why are we talking about those hated Red Sox on a website dedicated to the Toronto Blue Jays? Well, that’s simple.
Boston’s home run barrage reminded more than a few people of the Major League record of 10 home runs in a game, set by your very own Toronto Blue Jays.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 5, 2013
As Mr. Rosenthal noted above, it was nearly 26 years ago that the Toronto Blue Jays set the infamous record by clubbing 10 home runs against the Baltimore Orioles on September 14, 1987.
Those were the days of two divisions in each league, East and West, and no wild card in sight. In those autumn months, the Blue Jays were playing their home games at Exhibition Stadium, two years before Toronto welcomed the SkyDome.
The game featured a match-up of Baltimore starter Ken Dixon and Toronto’s Jim Clancy. Dixon had already been in for a rough season, holding a 6.10 ERA entering the game against the Blue Jays. If only he knew this was going to be the final start of his Major League career, I think he would have drawn it up differently.
Things started inconspicuously enough. After surrendering a lead-off double to Nelson Liriano, the Blue Jays would come up empty after a Lloyd Moseby strike-out, a ground-out by Tony Fernandez, and a fly-out by George Bell to end the inning. However, it only served to create a false sense of security for Dixon.
The Blue Jays would get a lead-off home run from Ernie Whitt to start their half of the second inning. Jesse Barfield followed with a double to center before Rance Mulliniks out another ball in the stands to give Toronto a 3-0 lead. Dixon would strike-out a young Fred McGriff and followed by getting Willie Upshaw to ground out to get the first two outs of the inning. However, a walk to Liriano and a home run to Moseby would end his day after 1.2 innings and a 5-0 deficit.
The Jays would get another lead-off home run to start the 3rd inning, as Bell went deep off of reliever Eric Bell. After a groundout by Whitt and a fly-out by Barfield, Mulliniks would strike again, sending a solo-shot out to give Toronto a 7-1 lead. McGriff would end the inning with a strike-out.
The Jays would be quiet on the home run front in the fourth inning, manufacturing a run with a walk, a ground-out, and a single to cap their scoring in the inning. However, Ernie Whitt would hit his second home run of the game to lead-off the bottom of the fifth inning and George Bell would add his second of the game in the bottom of the sixth to put Toronto ahead 10-2.
After a run-scoring single by Liriano got the scoring underway in the 7th, Canadian Rob Ducey would get his first knock of the game with a 3-run shot with two outs off of Mike Kinnunen. A pair of singles by Manuel Lee and Lou Thornton would put runners on again, and Whitt capitalized, hitting his third home run of the game, this one off of Tony Arnold.
The final home run came in the bottom of the 8th inning. Fred McGriff, who went had been hitless with a pair of strike-outs to that point, lead off the inning with his 19th home run of the season. That would account for Toronto’s last run of the game, giving the Blue Jays the 18-3 victory.
When the dust cleared and the Orioles had scraped their broken pitchers off of the diamond, the Blue Jays had put 10 balls into the stands and, unless you were a Toronto fan, the final box score was simply ugly to look at.
|Nelson Liriano 2B||4||3||3||1||2||0|
|Lloyd Moseby CF||4||1||1||2||0||1|
|Rob Ducey CF||2||1||1||3||0||1|
|Tony Fernandez SS||4||0||1||1||0||0|
|Manuel Lee SS||2||1||1||0||0||0|
|George Bell LF||4||2||2||2||0||0|
|Lou Thornton LF||1||1||1||0||0||0|
|Ernie Whitt C||5||3||3||5||0||0|
|Greg Myers C||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jesse Barfield RF||5||1||4||0||0||0|
|Rance Mulliniks 3B||3||2||2||3||0||0|
|Kelly Gruber PH-3B||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Fred McGriff DH||4||2||1||1||1||2|
|Willie Upshaw 1B||4||1||1||0||1||0|
|Jim Clancy P|
|Mark Eichhorn P|
|Tom Henke P|
Ernie Whitt (3) (Whitt also had 5 RBI on the day)
Rance Muliniks (2)
George Bell (2)
Rob Ducey (1)
Fred McGriff (1)
Lloyd Moseby (1)
So, while the Boston Red Sox can have all their glory of a 20-run game and are on the path to the division title, we here at Jays Journal are still proud of our Blue Jays, even if its a sense of pride in the past.