Aristides Aquino
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Video: Aristides Aquino ties Trevor Story’s rookie home run record

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Through Aristides Aquino’s first nine career games in Major League Baseball, he racked up four home runs. During his 10th career game, he hit three more, becoming the second player to notch a three-homer game in 2019 and the 29th franchise player to hit three or more home runs in a single game.

The Reds right fielder got his first opportunity in the second inning of Saturday’s set against the Cubs. Against Chicago righty Kyle Hendricks, Aquino took a first-pitch sinker out to left field, just clearing the wall for a 344-foot leadoff blast and his fifth home run of the year.

Aquino made efficient use of Hendricks’ pitches again in the third inning, lifting another middle-of-the-zone sinker out to left field for his second solo home run of the night. From there, the wheels started to fall off: Hendricks issued five consecutive hits to Nick Senzel, Tucker Barnhart, José Peraza, Sonny Gray, and Jesse Winker and was finally lifted for the newly-recalled Dillon Maples, who brought a swift and merciful end to the Reds’ four-run rally.

Aquino didn’t take it any easier on Maples than he had on Hendricks, however. In the fourth, he battled through a 1-2 count before returning Maples’ 96.7-m.p.h. fastball to center field for his third home run of the night. With seven home runs under his belt now, he tied Trevor Story‘s league-best rookie record of seven homers in his first 10 career games — a mark no one else has reached since Story first set it in 2016.

Had the rookie slugger tacked on another dinger to his performance on Saturday, he could have become the first MLB player to craft a four-homer game since 2017 and the first rookie to do so — ever. Alas, it was not to be: he took a four-pitch walk in the sixth and struck out swinging against Alec Mills for his final at-bat in the seventh. Still, it’s quite the accomplishment for the 25-year-old: through Saturday, he’s batting a cool .464/.500/1.250 with 13 RBI, a 1.750 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR across his first 30 PA.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.