Franchise Leader In Homers More Than A Milestone For Rays Longoria
Career Home Run #164 Pushes Evan Longoria Ahead Of Carlos Pena
Evan Longoria tied Carlos Pena's team record for home runs at 163 way back on April 3rd. He had gone 13 games and 49 bats without a homer so it's no surprise when asked about it he quipped, "It's about time. It took me quite a long time to do it but it came in a game we needed a win."
The homer came against Yankee starter Ivan Nova in the bottom of the third inning with Ben Zobrist on first and pushed the Rays lead to 4-0. It hit the C-Ring catwalk, the first fair ball to hit the catwalk this season, and the first since Prince Fielder hit it on June 28th of last season.
The home run puts Longoria as the only current active franchise leader in home runs. The next closest is Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox who trails Frank Thomas' 448 homers by 21, David Wright of the of the New York Mets who is 29 behind Daryl Strawberry's 252, and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins who is 31 behind Dan Uggla's 154.
Taking over as the Rays franchise leader in home runs isn't just a number. "It's meaningful for me because when I signed my contract you know that was kind of the whole goal, to allow this franchise to have somebody to look at for the long term." Longoria said. "When people think about the organization they think they had players that have wanted to - and have - played their whole career here." He said his main goal is to set that example for the organization.
When told that Manager Joe Maddon believes that he will double Pena's 163 record he laughed and said that was a tall task and would just concentrate on trying to hit #3 tomorrow.