Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett joined a select club featuring some of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history on Tuesday when he belted four home runs in a 13-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gennett’s feat marked just the 17th time in major league history that a player homered four times in a game. The Cincinnati native is the first Reds player to do it.
“It’s surreal, man, it really is,” said Gennett, who went 5-for-5 and tied a Reds club record with 10 runs batted in.
“I’m truly blessed. Being from here, born here, watching all those guys when I was little, to do something that’s never been done is... I can’t put words on it. It’s an honour for sure.”
Gennett hit an RBI single in the first inning, a grand slam in the third, a two-run shot in the fourth, a solo homer in the sixth and a two-run home run in the eighth. The 27-year-old left fielder began the game with three homers on the season.
Before Gennett, the last major-leaguer to homer four times in a game was the Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton on May 8, 2012, against the Baltimore Orioles.
The first major league player to accomplish the feat was the Boston Beaneaters’ Bobby Lowe on May 30, 1894, against the Reds. Gennett’s grand slam in the third inning came off Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.
He homered twice off right-handed reliever John Gant, in the fourth and sixth, and went deep off John Brebbia in the eighth. Fans in Cincinnati were on their feet with two outs in the eighth when Gennett took a called strike from Brebbia, then swung and missed to fall behind 0-2.
He then belted the next pitch over the right field wall.
He made two curtain calls and returned to left field in the ninth inning to a standing ovation.
“I’m amazed by it,” said Reds manager Bryan Price, who was the pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2002 when Mike Cameron went deep four times against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.
“It’s very emotional. You’ve seen history. It’s an honour to bear witness to it from the dugout.”
The list of players to hit four homers in a game includes such legends as Lou Gehrig and Willie Mays. Gennett, claimed off waivers in March, was an unlikely addition to the club.
He was mired in an 0-for-19 slump before hitting a double on Monday. Before his grand slam, he had gone 93 at-bats without a home run. “That’s baseball,” Gennett said. “That’s why you never give up.”
Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 14 as Washington defeated Los Angeles. Scherzer (7-3), the 2016 National League Cy Young winner, gave up an unearned run in the first inning and allowed three hits with two walks in seven innings. Strikeouts accounted for nine of the initial 10 outs he recorded. Reliever Oliver Perez worked a 1-2-3 eighth before rookie closer Koda Glover sealed the deal with a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
Reds 13 Cardinals 1
Nationals 2 Dodgers 1
Royals 9 Astros 7
Red Sox 5 Yankees 4
Orioles 6 Pirates 5 (10 innings)
Diamondbacks 10 Padres 2
Rangers 10 Mets 8
Cubs 10 Marlins 2
Mariners 12 Twins 3
Angels 5 Tigers 3
Phillies 3 Braves 1
Athletics 4 Blue Jays 1
Brewers 5 Giants 3
White Sox 4 Rays 2
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