Pair of Guardians prospects double dip on homers in epic 12-run frame

June 7th, 2024

They say home runs come in bunches, but what Triple-A Columbus did Thursday night was next level.

Powered by and , the Guardians' Triple-A affiliate put on a power display in the final innings of a 23-5 rout of host Indianapolis at Victory Field.

The Clippers had a comfortable five-run lead going into the eighth inning, but then the lineup really erupted, using five homers to score 14 runs in the final two frames -- a dozen on four long balls in the ninth. Rodriguez, Cleveland's No. 16 prospect, and Lavastida both homered twice in the ninth, and that frame capped a three-homer night by Rodriguez.

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Guardians No. 7 prospect George Valera and designated hitter Micah Pries also went deep in Columbus' de facto home run derby.

It marked the first three-homer game of Rodriguez's career, and the 13th in the Minors so far this season. Teammate Jhonkensy Noel (CLE No. 26) posted a three-homer game on May 22. But Rodriguez achieved his in style, going deep in his final three at-bats of the game. The last dinger was a grand slam that gave him a career-high nine RBIs, topping his previous professional best by four.

It’s even rarer than it sounds.

Some context: In the Major Leagues, there has been only one instance of two teammates hitting multiple homers in the same inning since 1974. Bret Boone and Mike Cameron accomplished the feat on May 2, 2002 for the Mariners against the White Sox. Cameron finished that game with four homers, Boone with two.

On Thursday, Valera and Pries went yard off starter Domingo German, the veteran right-hander was tagged for eight runs in five innings. Rodriguez and Lavastida combined to hit three more homers off lefty Geronimo Franzua, with Rodriguez hitting his first in the eighth and his second in the ninth. The final two came off of position players as Lavastida went deep against Dylan Shockley and Rodriguez finished his home run trifecta off Brenden Dixon.

The milestone was the latest highlight over a memorable few weeks for Rodriguez. The power-hitting outfielder made his big league debut for the Guardians in late May and rescued a baby bird before socking a go-ahead single for his first Major League hit during the same game. He’s connected on 21 homers in 93 games at Columbus over the past two seasons.