Jays establish new club home run mark
Offense surpasses team record of 244 with three roundtrippers
TORONTO -- Using a trio of long balls -- one from Travis Snider in the first, a solo shot from John Buck in the second and Aaron Hill's three-run shot in the fifth -- in Wednesday night's 8-4 victory over the Yankees, the Blue Jays set a new club record for most home runs in a single season.
The club's previous high was 244, set in back in 2000. Still with four games remaining on this year's docket, the Blue Jays' 247 blasts rank them fifth on Major League Baseball's all-time list. The single-season home run record is held by the 1997 Mariners, who went deep a whopping 264 times.
Batting leadoff, Snider hit his 13th of the season into the left-field seats on a 1-2 offering from Yankees starter Javier Vazquez. Buck launched his 20th of the season just over the wall in left-center field the very next frame. The Jays now have six players with 20 or more home runs, one player shy of the franchise-best seven, set in 2000.
"The home run is always exciting for the fans, [and] for the ballplayers," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who was managing his final home game before retiring at the end of the season. "I think if you asked anyone what's the most exciting hit that they have -- it's the home run. It's hard to explain when you do hit a home run, because most of the time you're not trying to hit one.
"To have the record and be a part of it for the second time -- the first time I was a hitting coach here [in 2000], this time I was the manager here -- hats off to [hitting coach Dwayne Murphy] and I'm just glad to be a part of it."
Adding a little flare, Snider hit his home run donning a fake mustache, worn by many of the Blue Jays at the start of the contest to commemorate "Thank You Cito" night at Rogers Centre.
"I couldn't think of a better night for it to happen," Snider said of establishing the record. "To honor him and what he's helped us with this year and in years past since he's taken over. It's a good way to end the homestand for the team with what we've accomplished as a team."
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.