TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' lineup has been dominating all season long, but it's starting to take shape as the best offense the organization has ever produced.
Toronto reached double digits in runs for the 22nd time this season with its 10-4 victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre. That's a franchise record, and in the coming weeks, the Blue Jays could be looking to set quite a few more milestones.
The only comparison between this team and the ones that came before it is the 2003 version that scored a franchise-record 894 runs for an average of 5.19 runs per game. The '15 club is averaging a stunning 5.49.
"No secret, just happens to the guy on the mound that day," Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar said after his club roughed up Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman for six runs.
The 2003 Blue Jays had a strong American League Most Valuable Player candidate in Carlos Delgado leading the way as he finished with 42 homers and a team-record 145 RBIs. That's Josh Donaldson's role on this team, with 36 homers and 114 RBIs in 134 games. But in order to have an offense that's this good, there has to be plenty of other major contributors as well.
The team from 12 years ago had seven players reach double digits in home runs: Delgado, Vernon Wells, Josh Phelps, Greg Myers, Frank Catalanotto, Eric Hinske and Reed Johnson. By comparison, Pillar's homer on Sunday afternoon made him the seventh Blue Jays player to reach double digits this year.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was the first-base coach during that 2003 season. He remembers Delgado more than anything else, but a similarity between the two teams is how they ended up getting a lot of production from guys who entered the year without a lot of expectations.
"We brought in some guys, I can't say they came out of nowhere, but guys like [Chris] Colabello and [Justin] Smoak have been big contributors as well as some other guys -- Pillar," Gibbons said. "Colabello wasn't even on the team to start the year. Smoakie, we were wondering what we were going to get. Kevin was possibly the fourth outfielder.
"Donaldson, all of those guys, Eddie, Bautista, doing their normal thing. It would be tough to compare it, different era now too, but take that for what it's worth. It's pretty impressive to watch."