By Bob Elliorr
After batting practice Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson walked up the tunnel and into the Blue Jays clubhouse together.
And in the third inning Friday night Donaldson trotted into the Jays record books with Encarnacion and eight other Jays sluggers.
Encarnacion was the last to hit 40, hitting a two-run homer on Sept. 11, 2012 in the fourth inning of an 8-3 win over Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
Donaldson hit a 2-2 pitch from Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jake Ordorizzi 417 feet to left field in the third inning to even the score at 2-2. “Yesss sir ... twos are wild friends,” we could almost hear broadcaster Jerry Howarth saying.
Jose Bautista, who hit his 37th Friday night, had his 40th Aug. 23, 2010 breaking up a 2-2 tie against New York Yankees reliever David Roberston. That year Bautista set a franchise record hitting 54 homers to lead the majors.
George Bell hit No. 40 on Aug. 30, a three-run shot to expand the Jays lead over the Oakland A’s and Jose Rijo to four runs. Bell finished with 47 home runs in 1987 and won the AL MVP award.
Jose Canseco went deep for the 40th time Sept. 6, a first-inning blast off Peter Schourek of the Boston Red Sox. Canseco finished with 46 homers in 1998, when the Jays won 88 times -- the most since 1993.
Carlos Delgado hit No. 40 the first time Sept. 4, 1999 facing Jeff Suppan of the Kansas City Royals in KC.
Bautista hit his 40th on Sept. 3, in 2011, a two-run shot off Rafael Soriano of the Yankees in the eighth inning to cut New York’s lead to 5-4. That year he hit 43 to again lead the majors.
Delgado hit his 40th Sept. 25, 2003 against Tampa Bay’s Joe Kennedy.
Shawn Green went deep for the 40th time Sept. 22, 1999 off Boston’s Mark Portugal.
Tony Batista hit No. 40 on Sept. 27, 2000 at Baltimore’s Camden Yards facing Sidney Ponson,
Delgado hit a grand slam Sept. 17, 2000 to put the Jays up 10-0 against the Chicago White Sox and Jesus Pena in Chicago.