TORONTO — Thestarted an unprecedented nine Latin American players in their lineup Thursday on Roberto Clemente Day, going on to rout the 11-0.
Clemente, the late Hall of Fame outfielder from Puerto Rico, was a two-time World Series winner and National League MVP who played 18 seasons with Pittsburgh. The Rays’ nine starters are from five countries: Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
“Very happy, especially on a day like today,” said, who hit a three-run home run. “I think the Latinos are really putting a stamp on the game of baseball.”
Diaz was joined by, , , , , , and .
All nine Rays starters, as well as base coaches Chris Prieto and Rodney Linares, wore No. 21 to honor Clemente. The players posed for a photo on the field after the game.
Diaz said he hoped to put his jersey and a lineup card in a frame to remember the historic day.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said the lineup was based on the batters he wanted to face Toronto right-hander.
“Gausman we’ve got as a reverse-split guy, so load up the righties,” Cash said. “It just worked out that they were all the Latin background.”
Diaz homered in a four-run second inning, his ninth. Paredes made it 5-0 with a leadoff blast in the seventh, his 19th, and added an RBI single. Arozarena had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth, and Margot added a three-run double later in the six-run frame.
The Rays (80-63) won the fifth and final game of the series to pull within a half-game of the Blue Jays in the wild-card chase.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.