We've all seen a blowout victory or two in MLB, but there are some routs that are quantitatively distinct from the rest. When you start closing in on 30 runs, you're in historic territory.
That's what the Cardinals did on Wednesday afternoon, crushing the Nationals for a 29-8 victory in Grapefruit League play. Of course, Spring Training is in a different category.
How rare is that sort of output in the regular season? To answer that question, here's a look at every game in MLB history in which a team scored 25 or more runs.
Rangers, 30 -- at Orioles (3) on Aug. 22, 2007
Believe it or not, Texas was scoreless through the first three innings of this game, which was the first of a doubleheader at Camden Yards. By contrast, Baltimore had scored all three of its runs over the first three frames. Then the fireworks began, with the Rangers putting up a five spot in the fourth inning. The big scoring outbursts came in the sixth and ninth innings -- in the sixth, Marlon Byrd launched a grand slam as part of a nine-run frame, and in the eighth, Travis Metcalf hit a grand slam and Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a two-run homer as part of a 10-run inning. Texas added six more runs in the ninth for good measure, and when it was all said and done, both Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez had launched a pair of homers and driven in seven apiece. The Rangers went 18-for-25 (.720) with runners in scoring position.
Braves, 29 -- vs. Marlins (9) on Sept. 9, 2020
Adam Duvall was the slugging star for an Atlanta club that had many of them on this night. Duvall belted three home runs and drove in nine, homering three times in a game for the second time in eight days. The only player in MLB history to have two three-homer games in a shorter span was the Angels' Doug DeCinces, who hit three homers in a game twice in a span of five days in 1982. Altogether, the Braves slugged seven homers in the game, with one each from Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Travis d'Arnaud and Freddie Freeman. The 29 runs scored set a National League record, and the final score of 29-9 marked the first instance in MLB history a game ended with that score. Interestingly, there were ties from this game to the Rangers' record 30-3 victory 13 years earlier -- Braves third-base coach Ron Washington was the manager of that Texas team in 2007, and Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis was the starting right fielder for the Orioles that night.
White Sox, 29 -- at Kansas City A's (6) on April 23, 1955
Minnie Minoso and Sherm Lollar each homered and drove in five for Chicago, with Lollar going deep twice. But the star slugger in this game was right fielder Bob Nieman, who homered twice and drove in seven. Walt Dropo and even starting pitcher Jack Harshman also had home runs of their own in the victory. A's starter Bobby Shantz didn't survive the second inning, and was charged with nine runs (eight earned) in an inning and two-thirds.
Red Sox, 29 -- vs. St. Louis Browns (4) on June 8, 1950
It began with an eight-run second inning for Boston, and the Red Sox put crooked numbers on the scoreboard in each of the next three frames as well. Following a brief sixth-inning hiatus, they resumed the onslaught with seven more runs between the seventh and eighth innings. Boston's lineup was led by Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who belted three home runs and drove in eight. Walt Dropo, who five years later would play in his second 29-run game, with the White Sox against the Kansas City A's, homered twice had seven RBIs. Another Hall of Famer, Ted Williams, also hit two homers in the contest, driving in five.
Cardinals, 28 -- at Phillies (6) on July 6, 1929
This game was a rout from the get-go, with St. Louis scoring 10 times in the first inning. Leading, 13-3, by the fifth, the Cards plated another 10 runs in that frame before capping the scoring with a five-run eighth. Hall of Famers Jim Bottomley and Chick Hafey led the way, with Bottomley homering and driving in seven runs, and Hafey going 5-for-7 with a pair of doubles and five RBIs. Cardinals starter Fred Frankhouse gave up six runs on 17 hits, but still completed the game and picked up the win.
Indians, 27 -- vs. Red Sox (3) on July 7, 1923
Cleveland scored in every inning in this game, with the largest frame being the sixth, in which it scored 13 runs. Rube Lutzke (six) and Riggs Stephenson (five) combined to drive in 11, with Lutzke doubling twice and Stephenson doubling three times in the rout. Hall of Fame right-hander Stan Coveleski started for the Indians and gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings. Remarkably, Lefty O'Doul came into the game in relief of Boston starter Curt Fullerton and was charged with 16 runs, only three of which were earned.
Royals, 26 -- at Tigers (5) on Sept. 9, 2004
Somehow, Kansas City hit just one home run en route to scoring 26 times, an Angel Berroa three-run shot in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Berroa also tripled and drove in a team-high five runs. The wealth was spread across the lineup in this game, with four players driving in three or more runs. Joe Randa, Alberto Castillo, David DeJesus, Ruben Gotay and Calvin Pickering all doubled, and the remaining 19 hits the Royals produced were all singles. A 20-year-old Zack Greinke started for Kansas City, and the rookie gave up three runs on six hits over five innings.
Rangers, 26 -- vs. Orioles (7) on April 19, 1996
The Rangers and Orioles appear for the second time on this list, with Texas again doing the routing. This time, the game was at The Ballpark in Arlington, and it was a competitive contest until the bottom of the eighth inning. With the Rangers leading, 10-7, Texas erupted for 16 runs. Juan Gonzalez, Kevin Elster and Will Clark each doubled and homered, with Gonzalez driving in six, Elster driving in five and Clark driving in three. Dean Palmer launched two homers and drove in five runs as well.
Cubs, 26 -- at Rockies (7) on Aug. 18, 1995
You just knew you'd see Coors Field represented on this list, didn't you? The Cubs jumped out in front with a seven-run first inning, with all seven runs being charged to Colrado starter Bret Saberhagen, who had just been traded from the Mets to the Rockies for the stretch run. Saberhagen only recorded one out in the start, and it was the start of 19-run loss to Chicago. Luis Gonzalez doubled, homered and drove in six to pace the Cubs' offense. Sammy Sosa added a homer and drove in four, and Scott Bullett doubled, tripled and also drove in four.
Phillies, 26 -- vs. Mets (7) on June 11, 1985
This contest was decided after two innings, by which time the Phillies led, 16-0. Philadelphia went on to score five in the fifth, one in the sixth, and four in the seventh. Leadoff man Von Hayes connected for two home runs and drove in six, with Bo Diaz and Glenn Wilson each driving in three runs -- Diaz doubled three times and Wilson doubled twice. Right-hander Calvin Schiraldi had to wear it in this game, coming out of the bullpen in relief of New York starter Tom Gorman, who only lasted a third of an inning. Schiraldi was charged with 10 runs on 10 hits over an inning and a third.
Indians, 26 -- at St. Louis Browns (3) on Aug. 12, 1948
It was already 15-0 by the time St. Louis got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, and Cleveland wasn't done yet. Hall of Fame player-manager Lou Boudreau and pitcher Gene Bearden each had four RBIs, with Bearden homering in the first inning as part of a 4-for-6 day at the plate. Bearden wasn't bad on the mound, either, yielding only one run on four hits over seven innings. The Tribe was 14-for-22 (636) with runners in scoring position.
New York Giants, 26 -- vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (8) on April 30, 1944
This was the Phil Weintraub game -- the first baseman finished a single shy of the cycle and drove in 11 runs -- 14 percent of his RBI total of 77 for the 1944 season. Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi added seven RBIs of his own, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles for New York. Eleven of the Giants' 26 runs were scored with two outs, and seven of those were driven in by Weintraub.
Cubs, 26 -- vs. Phillies (23) on Aug. 25, 1922
Here's a rare instance in which both clubs scored more than 20 runs. Chicago scored 10 runs in the second inning and 14 runs in the fourth to take a comfortable 25-6 lead into the fifth. From there, things got a little too close for comfort for the Cubs, who scored just one run from that point forward as the Phillies scored 17 runs, 14 of which came between the eighth and ninth innings. Charlie Hollocher and Hack Miller drove in six runs apiece for Chicago, while Russ Wrightstone and Curt Walker each drove in four for Philadelphia in the slugfest.
Reds, 26 -- vs. Boston Rustlers (3) on June 4, 1911
This game took place before the RBI became an official stat, so it's hard to tell exactly how the runs were created. But what we do know is that Cincinnati third baseman Eddie Grant went 2-for-5 with a double and a homer -- the only homer he would hit all season, and one of five home runs he would hit in his 10-year career. Reds right fielder Mike Mitchell went 5-for-6 with a double. Boston starter Cecil Ferguson didn't record a single out as the Reds rallied for seven runs in the first inning.
Other teams to score 25 or more runs since 1900
Red Sox, 25 -- vs. Marlins (8) on June 27, 2003
Yankees, 25 -- at Philadelphia A's (2) on May 24, 1936
Indians, 25 -- vs. Philadelphia A's (7) on May 11, 1930
Brooklyn Superbas, 25 -- at Reds (6) on Sept. 23, 1901
New York Giants, 25 -- at Reds (13) on June 9, 1901
Prior to 1900
Chicago Colts, 36 -- vs. Louisville Colonels (7) on June 29, 1897
Chicago White Stockings, 35 -- vs. Cleveland Blues (4) on July 24, 1882
Chicago White Stockings, 31 -- vs. Buffalo Bisons (7) on July 3, 1883
Chicago White Stockings, 30 -- vs. Louisville Grays (7) on July 22, 1876
Boston Beaneaters, 30 -- vs. Detroit Wolverines (8) on June 9, 1883
Philadelphia A's, 30 -- at Buffalo Bisons (12) on June 26, 1890
Milwaukee Brewers, 30 -- vs. Washington Statesmen (3) on Sept. 10, 1891
Cincinnati Reds, 30 -- vs. Louisville Colonels (12) on June 18, 1893