June 8, 1961
Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers for the Milwaukee Braves in the sixth inning of a game against the Reds. It’s the first time in major league history that the feat has been pulled off, but the Braves go on to lose the game 10-8 anyway.
The Reds were up 10-2 at the start of the barrage. Frank Bolling led off the top of the seventh with a single of Jim Maloney before Mathews kicked it off. Maloney was pulled after Aaron’s homer made it 10-5. Marshall Bridges came in and gave up two more homers before Joe Torre grounded out to end the streak.
The Braves went on to score one more run in the eighth on another Mathews homer, but they couldn’t keep it going from there.
Since the Braves did it, six other teams have hit four consecutive homers in games. It happened two more times in the early-60s with the Indians in 1963 and the Twins in 1964, then never again for 40 years.
Next to do it were the Dodgers in 2006, pulling off a famous comeback against the Padres’ Trevor Hoffman in the ninth before winning in the 10th. The Red Sox did it just a few months later in April 2007 against the Yankees’ Chase Wright. J.D. Drew, who left the Dodgers to join Boston the previous winter, actually homered in both of those streaks.
Since then, both the 2008 White Sox and 2010 Diamondbacks have done it.
The 1961 Braves went on to finish the season 83-71, giving them the fourth-best record in the NL. They were first with 188 homers. Adcock actually led the team with 35, one more than Aaron and three more than Mathews. Thomas finished with 25.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.