Update – And David Ross makes it five by homering twice against the Padres in San Diego. That’s as many homers as he had in 135 at-bats since the beginning of 2010.
There had been just 22 multihomer games in the first 26 days of the 2011 season, but already Tuesday evening there have been four, including a couple by some pretty unusual names.
Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan homered twice off Luke Hochevar in a win over the Royals. He was the only one of the four players to have already hit at least two homers this season, and he had exactly two. The first homer gave him 100 RBI for his career. He now has 20 homers in 919 lifetime at-bats.
Washington’s Wilson Ramos hit his first two homers of the season. He entered with a fine .341 average in 41 at-bats this year, but he had hit just one homer in 120 at-bats as a major leaguer.
Todd Helton turned back the clock in Chicago, taking James Russell deep twice. The big games came as he was hitting third for the first time this year. He moved up because Carlos Gonzalez was given the day off. It was his first two-homer game since Aug. 7, 2007.
The remaining two-homer guy as of 10 p.m. EDT was Toronto’s Adam Lind. Lind turned in a big spring, but he had hit just one homer in 85 regular-season at-bats.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.