Mookie Betts has ascended to rarified air.
The Red Sox slugger, making his return to the starting lineup Wednesday after tweaking his hamstring last week, launched three home runs in a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals.
It was the second time the outfielder has hit three home runs in a game this season and the fourth time he’s done it since his 2014 MLB debut. On the season, Betts is now hitting .365 with 21 RBI and an MLB-leading 11 home runs to go with a 1.7 WAR through 25 games.
For comparison, David Ortiz had zero games with three home runs in his storied Red Sox career.
With Wednesday’s barrage, Betts became the first Red Sox player to accomplish the feat four times, surpassing a 61-year-old record held by Ted Williams.
Most 3-HR games in Red Sox history:
Mookie Betts – 4
Ted Williams – 3
Nomar Garciaparra – 2
Jim Rice – 2
Mo Vaughn – 2
No Red Sox player has ever hit 4 HR in a game.
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) May 2, 2018
Williams had his first three-home run game during his 1946 AL MVP season. He didn’t do again until 1957, when he hit three twice in two months. No other player has accomplished the feat more than twice in a Red Sox uniform.
So yeah, Betts is in good company. And he’s only 25 years old.
The streaky nature of hitting dictates that Betts could go on to a Hall of Fame career and never have a three-home run game again. Or he could rack up a few more.
Either way, his is an an accomplishment worth celebrating.
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