J.D. Martinez homers his way into history

Four home runs. Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder J.D. Martinez knocked four balls out of the park on Monday, Sept. 4, becoming only the 18th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game. To put it in perspective, there are more pitchers (23) who have tossed a perfect game than sluggers who have hit four home runs in one game.

Martinez and the DBacks faced the slumping Dodgers in LA for a Labor Day showdown between first and second place in the NL West (though the Dodgers still have a 12.5 game lead over Arizona, who is currently in position for a wildcard spot in the postseason). The Diamondbacks shutout the Dodgers, winning 13-0 and extending their winning streak to 11 games, while the Dodgers have now lost four in a row, and nine in ten games.

Martinez’s first home run of the night came in the top of the fourth, a two-run shot off of Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill, starting the scoring for Arizona. Then came a solo shot in the top of the seventh against Pedro Baez. Home run number three of the night was just an inning later, during the top of the 8 with the Diamondbacks already leading 6-0. Martinez hit another solo home run to center field off of Josh Fields.

The sluggers final homer of the night came during the top of the 9th, a two-run shot to left off of LA’s Wilmer Font.

Two years ago, in 2015, Martinez had a 3-home run game against the New York Yankees, but he struck out in his final at bat. He says that back then he thought too much about getting that fourth home run, he wasn’t going to do the same this time around.

“This at-bat, I came up and I was like, just go up here and try to have a good at-bat,” Martinez  said after the game. “Just keep doing what you’ve been doing all day. You know what, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. It’s going to happen. There’s no point in trying to force it. Just go up there and have a good at-bat.”

And boy did he.

Martinez, who was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Diamondbacks in mid-July, has been on a tear since arriving in Arizona. Since joining the team, he’s tallied 33 hits and scored 24 runs, including 14 home runs.

Overall, the Diamondbacks scored 13 runs off of 14 hits, with seven different runners scoring on Monday night.

If this game wasn’t wild enough, Arizona’s Robbie Ray had a perfect game going against the Dodgers through the first five innings.

The Diamondbacks haven’t lost a game since August 24th, and have won 13 of 14 games. They face the Dodgers for game two of the series at 10:10 pm EST.