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Longoria ties Rays' home run record at 163

Three-run blast in seventh inning vs. Blue Jays matches Pena for franchise mark

ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria's three-run homer in the seventh inning tied Carlos Pena for the Rays' career home run record at 163 on Thursday night.

"It's great to see that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "[Longoria] is going to surpass it. My first thought was, 'Thank you Carlos for all the work you that you've done here.' And then the next thing was, 'Longo's got plenty of opportunities to at least double that number.'"

Longoria ran into a 2-1 pitch from Blue Jays right-hander Esmil Rogers and deposited the ball into the left-field stands to pull him even with Pena.

"It's a proud moment for me, because this has been my home for so long and obviously I've made a significant commitment," Longoria said. "And obviously, knowing that I have a love for this franchise and this community, to be able to do it, you know, it's just one home run in the grand scheme of things. For what it means for this organization and for what it means to me, it's big."

Longoria's home run also broke open their 7-2 win over the Blue Jays.

"That's obviously the more important thing," Longoria said. "At that point of the game, we're really trying to tack a couple of more runs on and give a little breathing room to the bullpen. So I was able to afford that opportunity tonight."

Longoria's first career home run came against Brian Bruney of the Yankees on April 14, 2008, during an 8-7 loss at Tropicana Field.

Pena's 163rd -- and final -- home run with the Rays came against Boston's Jon Lester on Sept. 26, 2012, during a 4-2 Rays win.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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