Marcus Stroman pitches in the American League, so he doesn’t get many chances to swing a bat.
But in his interleague start against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night at SunTrust Park, the Long Island native and Blue Jays ace got his opportunity — and made the most of it.
After striking out in his first at bat, Stroman returned to the box in the fourth inning and smacked a solo home run to the opposite field off Atlanta’s Julio Teheran, extending the Blue Jays’ lead to 8-0.
The homer was the second of back-to-back bombs for the Jays, the first coming off the bat of catcher Luke Maile.
It’s the second home run by a pitcher in Blue Jays history, with Mark Hendrickson (2003) the other.
Stroman’s specialty is his arm, but he showed some power while starring at Patchogue-Medford High School. As a pitcher/shortstop, he hit two home runs as a junior and another five as a senior for the Raiders.
Entering Thursday, Stroman had just one hit in seven plate appearances in his young MLB career — a pinch-hit double against the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this season.
Stroman pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings on Thursday night, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out six.