KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lonnie Chisenhall’s bat is headed to the Hall of Fame.
Cleveland Indians Lonnie Chisenhall, left, rounds the bases past third base coach Mike Sarbaugh (16) after hitting a three run homer during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, June 9, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
He just hopes he doesn’t break his other one.
The Indians third baseman went 5-for-5 and hit three homers while driving in nine runs in a 17-7 rout of Texas on Monday night. By the time he arrived in Kansas City for Tuesday night’s game, he was told the folks in Cooperstown wanted to retire his bat for posterity.
The only problem with the gesture?
“I only have two of the model I use,” Chisenhall said with a grin. “I’m going to have to make it through these next six games with one bat.”
No worries — teammate Michael Brantley has offered to loan out some of his stock.
According to Major League Baseball, Chisenhall became the first player to go 5-for-5 with three homers and nine RBIs since the RBI became a statistic in 1920. The only other major league players to have at least five hits, nine RBIs and three homers in a game were the Dodgers’ Gil Hodges, the Reds’ Walker Cooper and the Red Sox’s Fred Lynn.
It was also the first three-homer game by an Indians player since Shin-Soo Choo in 2010, and the second nine-RBI game in franchise history. Chris James accomplished the feat on May 4, 1991.
“I think it’s kind of neat. I’m sure Lonnie got a huge kick out of that,” said Indians manager Terry Francona, who has donated several items to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum from when he managed the Red Sox to two World Series triumphs.
“He’s got two kids, so one day he’ll be able to take them and show them, ‘Hey, this is what your dad did,’” the Indians’ Mike Aviles said. “That’s pretty cool.”
Chisenhall’s big day started with a seemingly innocent RBI single in the first inning. He hit the first of his homers, a two-run run shot, in the second. He added another homer in the fourth, hit an RBI double in the sixth and capped it all with a three-run shot in the eighth.
It was the majors’ first nine-RBI game since Carlos Delgado in 2008, and the first time a player hit three homers with that many RBIs since Alex Rodriguez did it in 2005.
The performance, the second five-hit game of Chisenhall’s season, also boosted the 25-year-old infielder’s batting average to .385. He’d hit seven homers and driven in 32 runs heading into the opener of a two-game series against the Royals.
Chisenhall said what he had accomplished hadn’t sunk in until he arrived in Kansas City.
“It was such a fast day,” he said, pointing out that the team left Texas for Kansas City right after the game, and didn’t arrive in town until the wee hours of the morning. “Maybe I’ll get a chance to sit back and watch the game myself someday and enjoy it.”