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Blue Jays hit eight home runs in 17-11 win over Rays

TORONTO - A group of fans wearing blue wigs decided against K signs for each home strikeout at Rogers Centre, opting for HR placards for each Toronto home run instead.

They got plenty of work yesterday.

The Blue Jays became the first team to hit eight homers in a game in three years, getting two apiece from Aaron Hill and J.P. Arencibia in a 17-11 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I've never seen anything like it for a team that I've played for or against," said Jose Bautista, who hit his 34th, tops in the majors. "It was just one of those days. The balls kept going out of the yard."

Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Lyle Overbay also connected for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors with 175 homers.

It was the most homers in a single game for the Blue Jays since they hit a major league- record 10 against Baltimore on Sept. 14, 1987. Toronto scored in each of the first seven innings and set season highs in runs and hits (20). "You think they're going to get a couple during the course of every game, that's just how they're built," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I guess they made up for not getting any [in Friday's 2-1 Toronto win]."

The Yankees were the last team to hit at least eight homers in a single game, according to STATS LLC, going deep eight times in a 16-3 victory over the White Sox on July 31, 2007, at Yankee Stadium.

The eight homers are the most allowed in a game by the Rays, whose losing streak reached a season-high four.

Called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday, Arencibia homered on the first pitch of his first at-bat, a two-run shot to left in the second. He added another first-pitch homer in the sixth, a solo drive, and had four hits.

Rays righthander James Shields (10-10) became only the eighth pitcher in the modern era to surrender six homers in a single game, and the first since Texas' R.A. Dickey, now a Met, gave up six against Detroit on April 6, 2006. "Disgusting is pretty much what it was," Shields said. " . . . I didn't hit any spots and they took advantage of it, obviously."

- AP

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