MLB: Going, going … Gomes
CINCINNATI ó Jonny Gomes had hit three home runs in a game once before. This time meant more to him.
Gomes homered in his first three at-bats to back Bronson Arroyo’s two-hitter and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Washington Nationals 7-0 on Thursday night.
The three-homer game was Gomes’ first since July 30, 2005, against Kansas City.
“This one’s a lot more emotional for me,” said Gomes, who opened the season with Triple-A Louisville after signing a minor-league contract with Cincinnati in January. He joined the Reds on May 22. “I was in Triple-A to start this thing off, and now ó not too many at-bats later ó I have three home runs.”
Gomes hit two-run homers in the second and fourth innings and added a solo shot in the sixth to help the Reds take a 7-0 lead. He struck out in the eighth inning, but still finished with a single-game career-high five RBI.
He is the sixth player to hit three homers in a game this season. Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen was the last on Aug. 1.
Gomes became the 24th player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game and Ryan Hanigan added a solo shot to give Arroyo plenty of breathing room.
Gomes’ performance reminded manager Dusty Baker of games he’s seen from all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and Dave Kingman.
“That was one the best performances I’ve seen in a long time,” Baker said. “We needed those runs and the victory, and that was an outstanding performance by Bronson, too. It was like he didn’t break a sweat.”
Arroyo (11-11) had been 0-3 in his previous four starts and hadn’t won since beating Milwaukee 4-0 on July 17.
He allowed just one runner as far as second base. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out three.