October power surge: Most homers in playoff game

10 players have gone deep 3 times in a single postseason game

November 3rd, 2020

There are few more thrilling individual accomplishments in the postseason than hitting three home runs in a single game. There have been many October heroes throughout baseball history, but the three-homer group consists of a select few.

Just 10 players have ever gone deep three times in a single playoff game. Here's a look at each:

, Dodgers
Game 5, 2017 National League Championship Series vs. Cubs

The Dodgers clinched their first pennant in 29 nears with an emphatic 11-1 win at Wrigley Field, and Hernandez was the reason why. His first homer of the game was a grand slam in the third inning that put Los Angeles up, 7-0, and the Dodgers never looked back. Hernandez, who entered that October with just 28 career regular-season homers in four seasons, capped his night with a two-run blast in the ninth inning to complete the scoring.

, Astros
Game 1, 2017 American League Division Series vs. Red Sox

Altuve, who would later win the 2017 AL Most Valuable Player Award, followed up 24 regular-season homers with a pair of solo shots off Boston ace Chris Sale, one in the first inning and another in the fifth. He then belted another solo shot in the seventh, this one off Red Sox reliever Austin Maddox. The performance fueled an 8-2 victory for Houston, the club's first win in a playoff run that would end with its first World Series title.

, Giants
Game 1, 2012 World Series vs. Tigers

Sandoval stunned Detroit ace Justin Verlander when he homered off the former AL Cy Young Award winner twice in the first three innings at AT&T Park. He lifted a solo homer to center field in the first, and a two-run shot to left in the third, after which Verlander was seen saying "wow" on the mound. Sandoval completed the trifecta with a seventh-inning solo shot to center off reliever Al Alburquerque. The Giants won Game 1, 8-3, and eventually swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in three seasons.

, Cardinals
Game 3, 2011 World Series vs. Rangers
Pujols belted three home runs, all from the sixth inning on, as St. Louis took a 2-1 Series lead over Texas in what would end up being one of the greatest World Series ever played. Already with two singles in the game, Pujols launched a three-run shot to left field off reliever in the sixth, then a two-run smash off Mike Gonzalez in the seventh, and a solo homer in the ninth off Darren Oliver to top it off. The Cardinals would go on to defeat the Rangers in a thrilling seven-game Fall Classic.

, Rangers
Game 4, 2011 ALDS vs. Rays
Beltre drove in three of the Rangers' four runs in 4-3 victory over the Rays that sent Texas into the ALCS. He launched two solo shots off Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson, one in the second and one in the fourth inning. He then clubbed another in the seventh inning off Matt Moore.

Adam Kennedy, Angels
Game 5, 2002 ALCS vs. Twins

Kennedy fueled the Angels at the plate en route to winning ALCS MVP honors, and capped it off by becoming the first player in 24 years to hit three homers in a postseason game. The infielder went deep in the third, sixth and seventh innings, all solo shots, to help lift the Halos into the World Series for the first time; they would go on to beat the Giants in seven games.

George Brett, Royals
Game 3, 1978 ALCS vs. Yankees
Brett had a huge series in what would ultimately be a four-game loss (the ALCS was a best-of-five series then) to the Yankees, but even though the Royals lost Game 3, it would be remembered for Brett's incredible power display. The Hall of Famer belted three solo home runs off Yanks starter Catfish Hunter -- in the first to right field, in the third to center field and to right field in the fifth. For the series, he hit .389 (7-for-18) with a double, triple and those three homers.

Reggie Jackson, Yankees
Game 6, 1977 World Series vs. Dodgers

In perhaps the most famous three-homer performance in postseason history, Jackson launched his trio on three consecutive pitches from three pitchers. In the fourth inning, he smashed the first pitch he saw from Burt Hooton into the right-field stands at Yankee Stadium. He followed that with another shot to right on the first pitch from Elias Sosa in the fifth. And leading off the eighth, he launched a solo shot to center off Charlie Hough. The performance earned Jackson the nickname "Mr. October."

Bob Robertson, Pirates
Game 2, 1971 NLCS vs. Giants

Robertson's five RBIs were the margin in Pittsburgh's 9-4 victory over San Francisco. He belted a solo homer off John Cumberland in the fourth inning, a three-run shot off Ron Bryant in the seventh, and another solo homer in the ninth off Steve Hamilton. Robertson added a double for good measure, finishing 4-for-5. The Pirates went on to win the NL pennant in four games, going on to defeat the Orioles in a seven-game World Series.

Babe Ruth, Yankees
Game 4, 1928 World Series vs. Cardinals
Ruth is the only player in Major League history to hit three home runs in multiple postseason games. The second time he achieved the feat, he did so in the game that clinched the World Series championship for New York in 1928. Ruth launched three solo homers -- two off Bill Sherdel (fourth and seventh inning) and one off Hall of Famer Pete Alexander in the ninth -- to put the finishing touches on a four-game sweep of St. Louis.

Babe Ruth, Yankees
Game 4, 1926 World Series vs. Cardinals
Fittingly, Ruth became the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a postseason game. He did so in a critical game for the Yankees, who found themselves down in the World Series, 2-1, against the Cardinals. In Game 4, Ruth smashed two solo homers off St. Louis starter Flint Rhem, one in the first and one in the third. He followed that up with a two-run blast off Hi Bell in the sixth. New York went on to win that game, 10-5, but lost the Series in seven.