Duda goes deep to break Rays' team HR mark

Duda goes deep to break Rays' team HR mark

BALTIMORE -- Lucas Duda blasted a Statcast-projected 375-foot home run to give the Rays their 217th home run of the season during a 9-6 win against the Orioles on Saturday night. The long ball broke the team single-season franchise record for homers, set last season.

"I wasn't actually aware of [the record], but it's nice," Duda said. "I guess it's just about luck. That's all it's about."

"Good," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said, of Duda's home run breaking the team record. "[I'm] glad it came with a win and a three-run homer was involved in on it."

Duda's three-run shot came off Orioles starter -- and former Tampa Bay Ray -- Jeremy Hellickson, marking his 30th long ball of the season, which tied a career high set in 2014 with the Mets. The Rays' slugger finished 1-for-4 to give him a .471 career batting average against the newly acquired Oriole.

"Duda's always given me trouble," Hellickson said. "I made seven or eight good pitches and then the mistake I make, he doesn't miss."

With runners on first and third and two outs in the third inning, Duda worked a 3-1 count before fouling off four consecutive pitches. The slugger then sent the ninth pitch of the at-bat over the right-field wall for a three-run homer, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.

But Duda's day wasn't finished. The first baseman then flashed some leather in the bottom half of the third inning. Austin Hays sent a high popup into foul territory down the right-field line and Duda secured the over-the-shoulder grab after the ball bounced off the heel of his glove.

Duda's catch in the 3rd

"Yeah, you know, that was a great play," Rays second baseman Brad Miller said. "And I know [Steven] Souza [Jr.] had to go a long way, but Lucas made a great play and stuck with it. That's a tough one to run like that and make the play."

Duda attributed the ball staying in his glove after the bobble to luck.

"It was just kind of luck. It's just one of those plays. I just happened to bobble it and catch it," Duda said. "Good luck, good fortune, whatever you want to call it, came my way."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.