Home Sweet Home

It has been eight days since my last post on ‘The 500 Level’. Apologies are obviously in order. I will spare the details behind my absence, and instead simply say: Let’s get back to it …

The Blue Jays entered Saturday’s contest with a record of 18-8 (.692) in their last 26 games in the friendly confines of Rogers Centre. That marked the highest home winning percentage — since May 11 — of any team in the American League. Including Saturday’s loss to the Indians, Toronto now owns a home record of 25-19 this season, good for sixth-best in the AL.

The franchise’s best overall home record came during the 1985 season, in which the Jays posted a mark of 54-26 at Exhibition Stadium en route to capturing their first ever AL East title. Meanwhile, the ’85 team also set a franchise mark by winning 10 straight home contests from July 21 – August 3.

The streak started during the finale of a four-game set with the Oakland Athletics, which Toronto won 11-4. Following that, the Blue Jays completed three and four game sweeps, respectively, against the Seattle Mariners and California Angels. During those first eight wins, Toronto outscored its opponent by a whopping 49-15 margin.

Having already earned two victories during the Jays’ home winning streak, Doyle Alexander made it three when the club returned home following a short four-game road trip. Alexander allowed three runs over eight innings against the Texas Rangers before giving way to the bullpen. In just his third game with Toronto, closer Tom Henke shut the door on his former team to record his first career save as a Blue Jay, as the home team claimed a 5-3 win.

Two games later the streak was finally snapped, as Toronto fell 8-4 in the finale of that series against the Rangers. Dave Stieb took the loss, allowing seven runs in seven innings.

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