Pena to Longoria: 'It's about time' to tie record
ST. PETERSBURG -- On Thursday night, Evan Longoria hit his 163rd career homer, tying Carlos Pena's franchise home run record.
Longoria did so with a three-run blast off right-hander Esmil Rogers in the seventh inning of the Rays' 7-2 win over the Blue Jays.
Pena kept his sense of humor when contacted about Longoria tying his record by texting: "It's about time."
When told of his former teammate's response, Longoria smiled and noted the obvious: "Records are made to be broken."
Once Longoria hits his next home run, making him the career leader for the franchise, he will become the only franchise leader in baseball currently with that team.
Next in line are Paul Konerko of the White Sox, who trails Frank Thomas (448 White Sox homers) by 21, David Wright of the Mets trails Darryl Strawberry (252) by 29 and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton sits 36 behind Dan Uggla (154).
Longoria's home run on Thursday night was the first of the season for the Rays. The team had gone 32 innings without a homer to begin the year, the longest drought in club history to open a season.
Longoria's first home run of the season came with two outs -- his 39th two-out homer since the start of 2011, out of 81 overall. This ranks second among all Major Leaguers after Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (49).
On Friday, the Rays announced that for the third consecutive season, every home run that Longoria hits will benefit the Pet Pal Animal Shelter, a no-kill, non-profit shelter in St. Petersburg.
Longoria will join Bright House Sports Network, the Rays and Ducky's Sports Lounge to each donate $100 to the shelter for every home run. Over the past two seasons, Longoria has raised $20,000 for Pet Pal with his 49 home runs.