Davidson's 3 HRs help White Sox match record
Designated hitter is fourth player with 3-homer game in an opener
KANSAS CITY -- Kauffman Stadium generally is regarded as a pitcher-friendly ballpark, but the White Sox rewrote the profile for at least one chilly Thursday afternoon, erupting for 14 runs and tying an MLB record with six Opening Day home runs.
After falling into a four-run hole in the first inning, the White Sox cruised to a 14-7 victory thanks in large part to Matt Davidson, who joined the Tigers' Dmitri Young (2005 vs. the Royals), the Cubs' Tuffy Rhodes (1994 vs. the Mets) and the Blue Jays' George Bell (1988 vs. the Royals) as the only Major League players to hit three home runs in an Opening Day game.
Davidson also became the 15th player in White Sox history (16th time) and the first designated hitter to go deep three times. Dan Johnson had been the last White Sox player to accomplish the feat on Oct. 3, 2012, at Cleveland.
"Just in general, I thought it was a nice start in terms of coming back," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We fell behind early. That seemed to matter not to any of the players in there.
"They were just going to try to chip away and they obviously did and it was just a good day all the way around. We had some big moments for some individuals out there and as a team."
With exit velocities of 115.1 mph, 114.0 mph and 113.9 mph, Davidson became the first player since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015 to hit multiple homers of 110 mph exit velocity or higher in the same game. His previous career high on a home run was 112.6 mph.
"Every time we get up there, we want to do something special," Davidson said. "Not much of a competition kind of thing, but just trying to score as many runs as we can. As a team, we're all pumped for each other."
While Davidson delivered a standout performance, he hardly stood alone. Tim Anderson homered twice for the White Sox, Jose Abreu launched the 125th home run of his career and every starter except catcher Welington Castillo reached base at least once. Adam Engel added two hits from the nine-spot in the order, while Yolmer Sanchez chipped in a three-run single in the seventh.
Anderson and Davidson became the fifth and sixth White Sox players with two homers on Opening Day, joining Alejandro De Aza (2014), Jim Thome ('08), Sammy Sosa (1991) and Minnie Minoso ('60).
Thursday marked the first time the club has hit three-plus home runs in one inning on Opening Day. The only previous occasion with multiple homers in one inning on Opening Day was in 2011 (two homers in the third inning at Cleveland). The six homers for the White Sox is an Opening Day club record and they also tied a Major League record shared by the Mets, who did it against the Expos in 1988. This game also marked the first time the White Sox have had two players hit multiple homers on Opening Day, per STATS.
"It's a bunch of kids having fun," Anderson said. "The home runs are there. We have some power guys. Just got to continue to play and see what happens."