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Rays set record for ALCS home runs

BOSTON — Add this to the unlikely accomplishments of the season: The Rays are the most prolific power-hitting team in AL playoffs history.

With three more homers Thursday, the Rays ran their total to 13, the most for any AL playoffs series. The Red Sox hit 12 in seven games against the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS.

The Rays have 19 homers overall in the postseason, matching the 1995 Braves for sixth most. The overall record for postseason homers is 27, by the 2002 Giants.

The major-league record for one playoff series is 14 by the Astros, in seven games in the 2004 NLCS. The record for a five-game series was 10 by the 1996 Yankees.

"We have guys that can; it's not like guys are doing things they're not capable of doing, they just happen to be getting hot at the same time,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "How many times have we talked about that all year, waiting for that to happen? … During all this time, I've often felt that we're gonna at some point bring it together offensively."

3B Evan Longoria got his name in the record books by homering in his fourth straight game, breaking the ALCS record shared by Bernie Williams (2001 Yankees) and teammate Carlos Pena (who had homered five pitches earlier in the third).

Longoria also tied the overall LCS record, shared by Gary Matthews (1983 Phillies), Jeffrey Leonard (1987 Giants) and Carlos Beltran (2004 Astros).

Longoria and B.J. Upton hit their sixth homers this postseason, matching the fourth most. Barry Bonds hit eight for the 2002 Giants and Beltran eight for the 2004 Astros; Troy Glaus hit seven for the 2002 Angels.

And Upton and Longoria have combined for 12 homers, matching Albert Pujols and Larry Walker of the 2004 Cardinals for the second most all time. Bonds and Rich Aurilia combined for a record 14 for the 2002 Giants.

PHILLY PHANS: The NL pennant-winning celebration was still raging Wednesday night when Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey reached out to Phillies closer Brad Lidge, one of his favorite pitchers when both were in Houston. "I sent him a text message saying congratulations," Hickey said, "and hope to see you in a couple days."

Several Rays have acquaintances to renew with the World Series-bound Phillies, including coaches Milt Thompson, who began his coaching career in the Rays' minor-league system in 1997, and Jimy Williams, who spent 2006 as a Rays instructor.

And some Rays and Phillies were teammates: Eric Bruntlett (with Hickey in Houston), Geoff Jenkins (with Gabe Gross in Milwaukee), Scott Eyre (with Chad Bradford in Chicago).

Maddon (who is close with bullpen C Mick Billmeyer) was impressed enough with what he saw of the Phillies in March that he's not surprised to see them still playing in October. "Just seeing them in spring training, my impression of them was that they were more like an American League lineup," he said. "I thought their offense, they could pound the ball up and down the lineup. I was really impressed with that. …

"The thing I didn't know about them is how good their pitching was."

RELIEF: Rays relievers had allowed four runs in their first 24T postseason innings; Thursday they allowed eight in 2T. They are 1-for-3 in save situations.

MISCELLANY: The Sox have won eight straight elimination games, and nine of their past 10. … The Sox comeback was the second largest in postseason history; the only larger one was Game 4 of the 1929 World Series, when the Philadelphia A's rallied from an 8-0 deficit to beat the Cubs 10-8. … The Rays lost for the first time this season in 39 games when leading by five or more. … It was Boston's 11th postseason walkoff win. … David Ortiz's homer ended a 15-game, 61 at-bat postseason drought. … 2B Akinori Iwamura has reached base in all nine postseason games.

Rays set record for ALCS home runs 10/16/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 17, 2008 10:32am]
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