May 17, 2022

Astros Launch 5 Home Runs Off Eovaldi In Second Inning & Are Crushing Red Sox 13-4

Five of Nathan Eovaldi's pitches to the Astros in the second inning on Tuesday night were launched out of Fenway Park. The five home runs allowed in a single inning tied a major league record, now shared with two other unlucky moundsmen. Houston scored nine runs in the frame, erasing a 1-0 Red Sox lead and catapulting the Astros to a 13-4 victory.

It's the ninth time a Red Sox pitcher has allowed as many as five homers in a game. (The team record is six  homers, by Tim Wakefield on August 8, 2004). Because of a few repeat offenders, the list includes only six names.

Of the first eight instances, the fewest outs recorded was 10, by David Price against the Yankees on July 1, 2018. Eovaldi recorded only five outs: 1.2-8-9-0-0, 39 (31 of his 39 pitches were strikes!).

Here are three times a pitcher has allowed five home runs in an inning:

Michael Blazek, Brewers, July 27, 2017, third inning against Nationals: BB, HR, HR, HR, HR, F8, HR /
Chase Anderson, Blue Jays, September 17, 2020, fourth inning against Yankees: L7, BB, 2B, HR, HR, HR, K, HR, HR /
Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox, May 17, 2022, second inning against Astros: HR, E3, HR, HR, F9, 1B, 2B, HR, 5-3, 1B, HR /

Eovaldi retired the Astros in order in the first on only five pitches and Rafael Devers's seventh home run of the year gave Boston a 1-0 lead. Any hope from that promising inning did not linger as the Astros tied the game immediately with a solo homer to start the second . . . and things quickly devolved.

The first Red Sox pitcher to allow five home runs in a game was Dennis Eckersley, against the Yankees on July 1, 1979. (The MFY were the opposing team in four of the first eight instances.)

Wakefield allowed five dongs to the White Sox on September 15, 1996 and six taters to the Tigers on August 8, 2004.

In 2009, it happened twice in five weeks: Josh Beckett against the Yankees on August 23 and Clay Buchholz against the Blue Jays on September 29.

Beckett and Buchholz teamed up again in 2012, this time within two weeks of each other: Beckett against the Tigers on April 7 and Buchholz against the Yankees on April 20.

Price's outing in 2018 was the most recent occasion before tonight.

Houston tied the major league record by bashing five home runs in an inning. (I wouldn't think too many guys would be left in to allow six jacks.) The Astros hold a share of the record with seven other teams:

June 6, 1939       - Giants, 4th inning/8 runs, beat Reds 17-3
June 2, 1949       - Phillies, 8th inning/10 runs, beat Reds 12-3 
August 23, 1961    - Giants, 9th inning/12 runs, beat Reds 14-0
June 9, 1966       - Twins, 7th inning/6 runs, beat Athletics 9-4
April 22, 2006     - Brewers, 4th inning/7 runs, beat Reds 11-0
July 27, 2017      - Nationals, 3rd inning/7 runs, beat Brewers 15-2
September 17, 2020 - Yankees, 4th inning/7 runs, beat Blue Jays 10-7
May 17, 2022       - Astros, 2nd inning/9 runs, beat Red Sox 13-4

A National League team hitting five home runs in an inning has happened five times  and the Reds were the opposing team the first four times!! . . . For 140 years, the Reds were the only NL team to allow five dongs in an inning - and they had done it four times

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