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These are the 5 best games by Braves hitters

@mlbbowman
January 11, 2021

ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron is regarded by some to be the greatest offensive performer in baseball history, and Chipper Jones will forever stand as one of the greatest switch-hitters the game has seen. But neither of them cracked this list of the top five single-game hitting performances in Braves history.

ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron is regarded by some to be the greatest offensive performer in baseball history, and Chipper Jones will forever stand as one of the greatest switch-hitters the game has seen. But neither of them cracked this list of the top five single-game hitting performances in Braves history.

1. Joe Adcock: July 31, 1954
Adcock homered four times and doubled once in a 15-7 road win over the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Milwaukee Braves slugger joined Shawn Green and Josh Hamilton as the only players to also hit a double or a triple in a four-homer game. Adcock doubled in the third inning and exited having gone 5-for-5 with an MLB-record 18 total bases. The record stood until Green went 6-for-6 with a double and a single during his four-homer game for the Dodgers in Milwaukee on May 23, 2002.

A look at every four-homer game in MLB history

After hitting four homers at Ebbets Field, Adcock told reporters he had used backup catcher Charley White’s bat.

“I broke my own bat yesterday, so I had to borrow White’s,” Adcock said. “It was so heavy, I could hardly lift it.”

2. Bob Horner: July 6, 1986
Horner provided some Sunday afternoon entertainment when he homered four times during an 11-8 loss to the Expos. Horner hit three homers off Montreal starter Andy McGaffigan and then added a two-out homer in the ninth against All-Star closer Jeff Reardon.

Adcock and Horner are the only Braves to homer four times in a game during the Modern Era. Horner became just the ninth player to achieve the feat since 1900.

“It’s something you dream about but never expect to happen,” Horner said in his postgame interview with the Atlanta Constitution.

3. Fred McGriff: Aug. 24, 1996
McGriff is one of seven players in franchise history to hit at least two homers in a five-hit game. But his three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning of this 6-5 win over the Cubs made him the only Braves player to end such a performance with a walk-off home run.

McGriff’s game-ending homer off Larry Casian capped a four-run ninth that began with Cubs reliever Turk Wendell retiring the first two batters. Marquis Grissom extended the inning with a single that gave him a 28-game hitting streak. Three batters later, McGriff tallied one of the four walk-off homers he hit while playing in Atlanta from 1993-97.

4. Willie Harris: July 21, 2007
Harris actually has a better "borrowed bat" story than Adcock. While tying a franchise record with six hits in a 14-6 win over the Cardinals, Harris used a bat that had been given to clubhouse manager Ben Acree to commemorate the 14 consecutive division titles the Braves had won from 1991-2005.

Harris used the commemorative bat for his first three plate appearances, and then he went back to using his regular bat for his final three. He tripled against Braden Looper in the third inning and added another triple off Troy Percival in the fourth.

Harris stands with Felix Millan (July 6, 1970) as the only Braves to record six hits in a game. He realized this achievement with some assistance from Tim Hudson, who persuaded the use of the giveaway bat.

"It's like this el cheapo, giveaway bat," Hudson told reporters after the game. "Probably the worst wood you could ever imagine. I was like, 'Willie, man, why don't you use this bat?' He uses a short bat anyway. It's only a 32-inch bat, 31 1/2. Darn if he didn't get three hits. We retired it. Bat is hitting 1.000."

5. Tony Cloninger: July 3, 1966
In the midst of producing a .464 OPS while spending eight seasons with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, Cloninger became the only player in franchise history to hit two grand slams in one game. The former right-hander accomplished this during a 17-3 win over the Giants at Candlestick Park.

Cloninger became the first NL player to hit two grand slams in a game, and he remains the only pitcher in MLB history to do so. He entered the game with just three homers in 348 career at-bats.

Along with hitting the two homers, Cloninger drove in a run with a single. He was the only Braves player to tally nine RBIs until Adam Duvall matched that franchise record while hitting three homers in a 29-9 win over the Marlins on Sept. 9, 2020.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.