Four Home Runs in a Row? It’s Not as Rare as It Once Was

Back-to-back residence runs are all the time thrilling. And fortunate followers typically get to see back-to-back-to-back homers.

On Sunday, at almost-empty Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, the White Sox blasted back-to-back-to-back-to-back pictures in the fifth inning. All 4 got here off Cardinals reliever Roel Ramirez, a 25-year-old right-hander who was making his main league debut.

Just one player has been part of four-homer string twice. J.D. Drew hit the second home run for the Dodgers in September 2006, and after leaving as a free agent, he did it again for the Red Sox barely a few games later in April 2007. His brother Stephen Drew was also part of a back-to-back-to-back-to-back run, hitting the fourth homer for the Diamondbacks in 2010.

The most star-studded streak may have been the first, when Eddie Mathews (512 career homers), Hank Aaron (755, of course), Joe Adcock (336) and Frank Thomas (286) went yard without interruption. It would have been a record-setting five straight if a young rookie named Joe Torre could have lifted one over the fence. Instead, he grounded out to third. (Torre, of course, went on to become a nine-time All-Star and a Hall of Fame manager.)

Sunday was a terrible debut for Ramirez even before the string of long balls. He struck out the first batter in the fifth inning, then gave up two singles. A runner was caught stealing, giving him hopes of getting out of his first major league inning, but he followed it with a walk.

Then the homers started.

Yoan Moncada hit a three-run shot to right, and Yasmani Grandal followed. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez hit theirs to left field. After homer No. 4, Ramirez was finally yanked.

Ramirez was 6-3 with a 4.78 earned run average last year in Class AA and AAA. His career E.R.A. in the majors stands for now at 81.00.

The White Sox did not waste the dingers, beating the Cardinals, 7-2.

More home runs over all would naturally lead to more streaks of consecutive home runs, which is why the back-to-back-to-back-to-backer isn’t such an extreme rarity anymore. Major leaguers hit 6,776 homers last year, breaking the previous record by more than 600.

Four home runs in a row is still pretty remarkable. But five in a row would be more so.

How close did we come to a record-setting fifth on Sunday? Edwin Encarnacion, with 416 career home runs, stepped to the plate against the new pitcher, Seth Elledge, with a chance to go where no one had gone before. He struck out looking.

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