Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts slugged three home runs against the Kansas City Royals, setting a franchise record for the most three-homer games.
Mookie Betts continued his assault on the record books with another historic performance on Wednesday. The superstar right fielder blasted a trio of home runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to a win over the Kansas City Royals.
This marks the fourth time in his career that Betts has collected three home runs in a game, setting a franchise record he previously shared with Ted Williams.
Betts led off the game with a base hit, only to be wiped out on an inning-ending double play by Hanley Ramirez. That was a mere taste of what was to come.
He put the Red Sox on the board with his first homer of the day to lead off the bottom of the fourth. J.D. Martinez tied the game with a two-run blast later that inning. Betts put Boston on top with another solo shot the following inning. He would complete the trifecta with a much-needed insurance run in the seventh that put the Red Sox up 5-3.
Mookie Betts for threeeee!(again)
Posted by Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Boston’s bullpen would end up giving back a run in the eighth, leaving little margin for error. They needed each of Mookie’s homers to cling to the narrow victory.
It was just over two weeks ago that Betts led a route over the Los Angeles Angeles with three solo shots. He has now replicated the effort for his second three-homer game of the season. Betts also had a pair of three-homer games in 2016 when he finished as the runner-up in the AL MVP race. He homered three times against the Baltimore Orioles on May 31 and did it again on August 14 against the Arizona Diamondbacks that season.
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Only six hitters in MLB history have more three-homer games on their resume than Betts. Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa hold a share of the record with six occurrences. Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Dave Kingman and Joe Carter have all done it five times.
That places Betts in a 10-way tie for 7th place on that list. Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado, Willie Stargell, Aramis Ramirez, Larry Parrish, Ralph Kiner, Barry Bonds, Steve Finley and Ernie Banks are the others with four three-home run games during their careers.
Of that group, Pujols and Betts are the only active players. Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and Andrew McCutchen of the San Francisco Giants are the only other active players with at least three career games with three home runs.
The 25-year old Betts is the youngest player in MLB history with four three-homer games.
Betts has been cementing a strong case for his first MVP campaign. He now leads the majors with 11 home runs and a 1.274 OPS. He’s second in the majors with a .365 batting average in the wake of today’s 4-for-4 performance. His 21 RBI tie him for only 16th in the majors, although that total is all the more impressive when you consider he’s done it while batting exclusively out of the leadoff spot. He’s done all this while still providing his usual Gold Glove-caliber defense in right field.
It doesn’t hurt his chances that Betts leads the way for a Red Sox team owning the best record in baseball. There’s still a long way to go on the schedule and a lot can happen along the way. Still, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about the start we’ve seen from Betts and the Red Sox.