It’s always good to get off to a strong start from the power perspective at the beginning of a new season. Sometimes that means hitting home runs early and often. There have been nine teams to homer in at least 12 straight games to start a season. The record is 20 straight by this year's Mariners (ongoing), who broke the previous record of 14 set by the 2002 Indians.
The 2019 season was the first time in Major League history that two teams homered in at least 10 straight to start the season -- with the Dodgers doing so in 10 straight and Seattle now at 20. The Mariners tied the '02 Indians' record on Mitch Haniger's go-ahead solo shot in the top of the ninth inning last Wednesday in Kansas City, and broke it on Dee Gordon's solo shot there on Thursday afternoon. Now into the next week, the streak is still going.
The overall record -- at any point in the season -- is 27 straight games with a home run, by the 2002 Rangers. Five teams have had streaks of 25 straight, most recently the Cardinals and Padres in 2016.
Here’s a look at the most consecutive games with a home run to start a season:
1) 2019 Mariners -- 20 straight -- active streak: The Mariners have played 20 games this season, and they’ve homered in each of them. They hit two homers in their Opening Day game in Japan against the A’s, one of 11 times this season Seattle has produced multiple big flies. Jay Bruce has led the way with eight home runs. Daniel Vogelbach has six, Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnacion have five, and Tim Beckham and Domingo Santana have four each. Ryon Healy and Omar Narvaez have three, while Gordon, Murphy, Mallex Smith, and Dylan Moore each have one.
The Mariners have saved their streak in the late innings twice already this week. On Monday, Encarnacion and Narvaez's back-to-back homers in the eighth inning kept it alive. On Tuesday, Bruce's homer in the eighth did the same, and gave Seattle a Major League-leading 42 home runs.
2) 2002 Indians -- 14 straight: The Indians set the record with 14 straight games with a home run to start the 2002 season. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they went 11-3 in that stretch. The home run barrage was led by Matt Lawton, who had five during the streak. The only other Indians batter with more than two in that span was Jim Thome, who knocked four. In all, 10 Indians players hit at least one home run during the stretch, with Russell Branyan, Ellis Burks, Travis Fryman and Omar Vizquel hitting two each and Brady Anderson, Milton Bradley, Einar Diaz and Ricky Gutierrez each hitting one. Cleveland hit 21 home runs across those 14 games.
The 2002 Indians ended up with 192 home runs, seventh in the Majors. They finished 74-88, third in the AL Central.
3-T) 2017 Tigers -- 13 straight: The Tigers hit three home runs on Opening Day and didn’t look back for a while -- homering in 13 straight to start the season. They went 8-5 during that stretch. Miguel Cabrera and James McCann each hit three home runs during that span, tied for the most on the team during the 13-game streak. Alex Avila, Nicholas Castellanos, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton each hit two, and Tyler Collins, Jose Iglesias, JaCoby Jones and Andrew Romine each added one. The Tigers hit 18 home runs during the streak, hitting just one in all but four games during the run.
The Tigers finished with 187 home runs, 23rd in the Majors. They finished 64-98, last in the AL Central.
3-T) 1954 Cubs -- 13 straight: The Cubs started their season with three home runs at St. Louis on Opening Day and went on to hit a homer in 13 straight total to start the year. They hit 28 home runs total during the span, going 6-7 over the stretch. Hank Sauer led the way at the plate for the club, knocking eight home runs. Randy Jackson hit five, Gene Baker had four, Ralph Kiner had three and Ernie Banks had two. Frank Baumholtz, Dee Fondy, Hal Jeffcoat, Clyde McCullough, Paul Minner and Dale Talbot added one each. The 13-game stretch included a 23-13 victory over the Cardinals in the third game of the season, though they hit only two home runs in that game.
The Cubs finished with 159 home runs, third in the Majors. They finished 64-90, seventh in the National League.
5-T) 2013 Mets -- 12 straight: The Mets started the season with a singular Opening Day home run -- from Collin Cowgill. They went on to homer in 12 straight games total, with the streak ending in the second game of a doubleheader in Colorado on April 16. They hit 17 home runs during the streak, hitting multiple homers in just three games during the streak. John Buck led the way with six home runs during the streak, and Lucas Duda had three. Cowgill, Daniel Murphy and David Wright had two each, and Marlon Byrd and Ike Davis each hit one. They went 7-5 during the 12 games.
The Mets finished with 130 home runs, tied for 25th in the Majors. They finished 74-88, third in the NL East.
5-T) 2007 Devil Rays -- 12 straight: The Devil Rays got a solo home run from Elijah Dukes in an Opening Day loss and went on to hit one in each of the first 12 games of the season overall. The Devil Rays got home run contributions from 10 players during the streak, with none hitting more than three. Carl Crawford, Ty Wigginton and Delmon Young tied with three each. The team hit 19 total home runs during the streak and compiled a 5-7 record.
The Devil Rays finished with 187 home runs, seventh in the Majors. They finished 66-96, last in the AL East.
5-T) 2001 D-backs -- 12 straight: The D-backs’ World Series championship season got off to an auspicious start with home runs in each of their first 12 games. However, it may not have seemed like such a good omen at the time, considering the team went 4-8 in those first 12 games. Luis Gonzalez led the way during the streak, as he would all year for the D-backs. He hit nine home runs during the streak, six more than anyone else on the team. They totaled 21 home runs in those first 12 games. The only other D-backs with multiple home runs during the run were Matt Williams (3), Rod Barajas (2) and Erubiel Durazo (2).
The D-backs finished with 208 home runs, tied for seventh in the Majors. They finished 92-70, winning the NL West on their way to a title.
5-T) 1997 Rockies -- 12 straight: The Rockies hit two home runs on Opening Day in Cincinnati and went on to hit at least one in each of their first 12 games that season. They hit seven home runs in game number five that season, setting a franchise mark for a single game that’s been tied once (in 2016) but has yet to be surpassed. They hit 29 home runs total throughout the streak, during which they went 9-3. Larry Walker led the way with nine, followed by Vinny Castilla with six. Others with multiple homers were Ellis Burks (4), Andres Galarraga (3), Dante Bichette (2) and Jeff Reed (2).
The Rockies finished with 239 home runs, second in the Majors. They went 83-79 and finished third in the NL West.
5-T) 1986 Reds -- 12 straight: The Reds started their 1986 campaign by hitting 17 home runs across their first 12 games, with at least one in each of those games. They went 5-7 in that span. Dave Parker led the way with five. Eric Davis and Nick Esasky hit three each, and Dave Concepcion and Bo Diaz each hit two. Sal Butera and and Kal Daniels each hit one.
The Reds finished with 144 home runs, tied for 14th in the Majors. They went 83-79 in Pete Rose’s final season as player/manager (but not his final as manager) and finished second in the NL West.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.