April 24, 2017

Benintendi And The Babe

Andrew Benintendi went 5-for-5 on Sunday against the Orioles. His previous high for hits in a game was three (which he did twice last year and three times already this season (April 11, 16, 17)).

The five hits came in only his 51st major league game. Joe Posnanski wondered: "Has anyone else had a five-hit game just 51 games into his big league career?" Posnanski discovered that five-hit games are not as rare as you might expect. In fact, in the last 100 years, 83 players have had a five-hit game at some point in their first 51 MLB games.

When it comes to Red Sox history, however, Benintendi is the youngest Red Sox hitter in 50 years to have five hits in a game. Tony Conigliaro had five hits against the Yankees on April 16, 1967. However, Conigliaro came to the plate nine times that day because that game went 18 innings; his hits came in the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 15th innings.

When it comes to nine-inning games only, Benintendi is the youngest Boston hitter with five hits since Dalton Jones did it in the second game of a doubleheader on July 9, 1965.

Finally, Benintendi is actually the youngest player in Red Sox history to go 5-for-5 or better in a game (22 years, 291 days). The previous youngest was Babe Ruth (23 years, 92 days).

On May 9, 1918, Ruth went 5-for-5 against the Washington Senators. He had a single, three doubles, and a triple. He also pitched a complete game, but lost in 10 innings. The next day, Ruth started in left field, the first time he would play the outfield in a major league game (he had started three games at first base earlier in the week).

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