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Blue Jays practice equal distribution of power

Franchise-record-tying six hitters go deep in win vs. Rays
MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays displayed power from all over the lineup in Wednesday's 7-6 win over the Rays, from the player with half a dozen homers in the last nine days, to the one who had not left the yard before.

Toronto tied a franchise record with six players going deep in a game.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays displayed power from all over the lineup in Wednesday's 7-6 win over the Rays, from the player with half a dozen homers in the last nine days, to the one who had not left the yard before.

Toronto tied a franchise record with six players going deep in a game.

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Though not the biggest in terms of determining the outcome of Wednesday's affair, the most meaningful home run belonged to catcher Raffy Lopez. The 29-year-old has spent most of his career in the Minor Leagues, with brief stints with the Cubs and Reds before he joined the Blue Jays this year. In the second inning, Lopez hit his first career home run.

Video: TOR@TB: Lopez's first Major League home run

"That was really special," Lopez said. "It's been a long road. It's been a long journey. I can't even put it into words. My dad was here, my high school coach was here and I know my mom was looking down. I was really happy I was able to do that for her."

Lopez's opposite-field shot was one of three homers hit off Austin Pruitt in the second inning. Josh Donaldson broke the ice in the first with a two-run shot, his sixth home run in his last nine games, with all those round-trippers coming off Rays pitchers.

Ryan Goins, Steve Pearce, Justin Smoak and Kevin Pillar joined in on the fun, with Toronto's home runs accounting for all of the runs it produced. It's been a major theme of the Blue Jays' 2017 campaign, as 51.02 percent of Toronto's runs have scored via the long ball, the highest home run-dependency in the Majors.

"Our offense is extremely powerful when we click on all cylinders," starting pitcher Marcus Stroman said. "I have the utmost confidence in every single one of those guys to get the job done each and every time, especially when I'm out there."

The only reason to nitpick Toronto's best homer output since 2012 was that all but one of its home runs came with the bases empty. Through the 3-1 series win over the Rays last week and the first two games of this set, 19 of Toronto's last 26 runs against Tampa Bay have come via the long ball.

"We have a good offense and we were able to put it together tonight," Pearce said. "It would have been nice to hit some homers with runners on base, but that's just the way it happens. Tonight was just a typical Rays-Jays matchup."

Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Toronto Blue Jays