The first week of the Major League season came to a close with a power-hitting barrage Sunday.The Rockies' Trevor Story led the way as he kept up his assault on the record books, but the rookie shortstop had plenty of company across the league.Reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson went
The first week of the Major League season came to a close with a power-hitting barrage Sunday.
The Rockies' Trevor Story led the way as he kept up his assault on the record books, but the rookie shortstop had plenty of company across the league.
Reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson went deep for the fourth time already this season for the Blue Jays, and All-Stars Buster Posey of the Giants and Paul Goldschmidt of the D-backs both hit their second homers. Several notable players also notched their firsts of 2016, including the Astros' Jose Altuve, the Giants' Brandon Belt, the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter, the Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, the Twins' Brian Dozier and the Marlins' Christian Yelich.
Here is a look at the best of Sunday's homer-happy action, beginning with Story:
The 23-year-old sensation continued his historic run, as yet another home run record fell victim to his bat. In the Rockies' 6-3 win over the Padres, Story homered for the seventh time since making his big league debut on Opening Day.
"I haven't faced a lot of these guys, so it might take a couple times to get familiar with these pitchers," Story said. "You can watch them on video, but I think it's a little different when you actually are in the box facing them. I feel good hitting pitches right now."
Story not only is homering at an unprecedented pace for rookies at the start of their careers, but he also holds the Major League record for most home runs through a team's first six games of a season. The previous record was six, shared by Larry Walker (1997) and Hall of Famers Willie Mays (1964) and Mike Schmidt (1976).
On Sunday, Story went back-to-back with Carlos Gonzalez, who had teamed up to do the same with Nolan Arenado earlier in the day. It was the 17th multihomer game of Gonzalez's career.
As for Story, he soon may have some competition. Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara impressed while making his big league debut in Texas' 3-1 loss to the Angels, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer off Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver.
At 20 years and 350 days old, Mazara is not only the youngest active player in the Majors, but the youngest ever to have three or more hits, including a home run, in his debut. He also became the eighth player in Rangers franchise history to homer in his big league debut.
"A memorable debut for the young man," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Three hits and a home run ... that's a special day. Great poise, he walked up there in the first inning and didn't get caught up. He stayed with his approach."
And it wasn't just rookie position players going deep Sunday. Cubs ace Jake Arrieta also got in on the fun with a two-run blast off Arizona's Shelby Miller that sailed an estimated 440 feet, according to Statcast™, in Chicago's 7-3 win. According to ESPN, the home run was longer than any Arrieta has allowed in the past five seasons.
"I was ready," Arrieta said. "I can hit a fastball -- I can't hit much else. It was one of those things, I was trying, obviously, with two strikes to see something up and take a nice easy swing. Fortunately, I was able to get the ball in the air and get us on the board early."
Arrieta, who spent the first three-plus years of his career in the American League with the Orioles, had homered just twice before, both in 2015. The last one, a solo shot against the Pirates' A.J. Burnett, came last Sept. 27.
In Baltimore, Manny Machado's two-run homer against the Rays proved to be crucial for the Orioles, who improved to 5-0 as the lone unbeaten team in baseball. Machado batted 4-for-4 for his fifth career game with four or more hits.
Machado has hit safely in all five games this season -- going 9-for-21 (.429) -- and homered in three straight. It's the second time in his career he has gone deep three games in a row, as he also authored a four-game streak from last Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.
The Reds' Eugenio Suarez doesn't have Machado's name recognition yet, but he, too, has been off to a hot start. The 24-year-old hit a game-tying solo shot in the sixth inning, as Cincinnati went on to grab a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh, and Suarez became the first Reds player with four homers over the team's first six games since noted slugger Adam Dunn in 2004.
"I saw [Suarez] last year. The guy wakes up and hits," said teammate Jay Bruce, who smacked a walk-off triple in the ninth inning. "The guy is a natural. He really does a good job, and he's doing great right now. He has that ability. He's still really young and still coming into his own as a Major Leaguer."
Chad Thornburg and Andrew Simon are reporters for MLB.com