Greatest single games from Blue Jays hitters

January 11th, 2021

TORONTO -- Whether they’ve been competing for a World Series or at the bottom of the division, the Blue Jays have almost always had a bat in their lineup that’s worth the price of admission.

The club has turned out some incredible single-game individual performances over its four-plus decades, with these five standing above the rest:

1) hits four home runs: Sept. 25, 2003
Delgado entered this game against the Devil Rays one home run shy of 300 for his career. By the end of the night, No. 300 was long forgotten.

Delgado launched four home runs in four trips to the plate, making him the first player in Blue Jays history to accomplish the feat, which hasn't been replicated since. It was a night of milestones, starting with No. 300. His third of the night was his 40th of the season, but his final blast was the best. A skyscraper to center, Delgado’s fourth bounced off the windows of SkyDome’s restaurant. He knew it, too, as he casually tossed his bat overhand and started his fourth slow trot of the night.

This performance also bumped Delgado’s OPS above 1.000 for the end of the season, finishing at 1.019. Only 13,408 fans were in attendance to witness it, but they saw one of that generation’s best hitters at his peak.

2) drives in nine: Aug. 29, 2015
Encarnación took a run at Delgado’s record in 2015, and while he fell one shy of four home runs, Encarnación's nine RBIs set a Blue Jays record.

This 15-1 rout over the Tigers came when the Blue Jays were one of the hottest teams in baseball with all eyes on them, just one month after their major Trade Deadline moves. Encarnación had always been the quiet engine of those lineups as one of the game’s most consistent power hitters from season to season, but this was his greatest single-game performance.

Encarnación started with a three-run shot off Buck Farmer, then followed up with a two-run shot off Guido Knudson and a grand slam off Alex Wilson.

3) Roy Howell has a day: Sept. 10, 1977
Howell became the club’s first full-time third-baseman in 1977 after the Blue Jays acquired him from the Rangers in May. Just 23, Howell was excellent for Toronto that season, hitting .316 with 10 home runs and an .837 OPS over 96 games. His big moment came on Sept. 10, though, when he set a club record for RBIs that wouldn’t be touched for nearly 40 years.

In a 19-3 win over the Yankees in New York, Howell went 5-for-6 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. The first of those home runs even came against Hall of Fame right-hander Catfish Hunter.

4) gets a hat trick: Aug. 28, 2016
It’s difficult for the reigning American League MVP Award winner on a playoff-bound team to surprise people, but Donaldson always had the extra gear when he was with the Blue Jays. Almost one year to the day of Encarnación’s three-homer performance, Donaldson matched it with three of his own against the Twins at home.

Donaldson earned the curtain call after his third home run, a no-doubt shot to straightaway center field. He had some time, too, as the Rogers Centre staff was still busy cleaning hats off the field.

5) records six hits: May 1, 2004
When you bump your average from .276 to .329 in your 23rd game of the season, you’re doing something right. Catalanotto's six-hit outburst against the White Sox stands as the record for most hits in a single game by a Blue Jays hitter, and it came in the second half of a doubleheader.

Catalanotto was chipping away more than delivering haymakers, as five of the six hits were singles, but he made them count and drove in a pair of runs along the way. This game’s box score is quite the time machine for Blue Jays fans, too, with Orlando Hudson at second, Eric Hinske at third, Delgado at first, Vernon Wells in center and Reed Johnson subbing in late in right.