Adrian Beltre wasn’t the only Rangers slugger to make history on Friday night. After the veteran third baseman kicked off the club’s 12-7 slugfest against the Yankees with his 469th career home run, rookie first baseman Ronald Guzman cemented his own place in the history books with not one, not two, but three home runs — the most by any rookie in a single game against the Bronx Bombers.
The first home run arrived just two at-bats after Beltre’s blast, a first-pitch 362-footer that cleared the right field fence to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. In the sixth, with the Rangers up 5-1 after Elvis Andrus‘ two-RBI double in the fifth, Guzman collected his second home run on another Masahiro Tanaka splitter. This one traveled 433 feet out to center field — his longest homer of the night — for a solo shot that boosted the team’s advantage to five runs and put him in the company of names like Ken Griffey Jr. and Manny Ramirez (among many others).
The history-making cherry on top, however, came in the top of the seventh inning. Right-hander A.J. Cole stepped in for Tanaka, but even he couldn’t get the rookie to look at more than two pitches before his 92-MPH fastball was taken out to pasture for yet another home run.
Guzman’s remarkable feat couldn’t have come on a better night; as he told reporters after the game, it was the first time his father, Manuel, had been able to fly in from the Dominican Republic to watch the rookie play in the majors.
“I mean coming in today, I wanted to hit at least one for them,” Guzman told MLB.com. “I was more nervous than my first day in the big leagues. I got the first one out of the way, it was an amazing feeling … pointing at them, seeing them so happy and jumping around. There is no better feeling than that.”