Danny Valencia may not be anyone’s idea of a big power hitter, but he sure played the part on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Oakland Athletics’ third baseman slugged three homers, the last of which a two-run bomb in the ninth that stood as the game winner.
— MLB (@MLB) May 15, 2016
Valencia’s first two home runs came against starter Matt Moore. He opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first, then hit a two-run homer against Moore in the fifth that drove in Coco Crisp.
The final homer in the ninth came against Steve Geltz, driving in Billy Burns as well.
Not only did Valencia hit three homers, but they were impressive, tape-measure bombs.
All 3 of Danny Valencia's HR were calculated at 425 feet or longer, the 1st player with 3 such HR in a game since 2009.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2016
Valencia is a prime example of how much impact a few games can have on your season’s numbers at this time of the year.
Entering the weekend series in Tampa, Valencia hadn’t hit a single home run in 2016. Sunday’s performance, coupled with the two he hit in Friday, gives Valencia five on the year, putting him on a 20-plus homer pace.
The last Oakland player to hit three homers in a game was Valencia’s teammate, outfielder Josh Reddick, who did so in 2013 against the Toronto Blue Jays.