Turner slugs first Phillies HR as part of 3-hit day

April 19th, 2023

CHICAGO -- wasn't exactly off to a slow start to begin his Phillies tenure, but one number was beginning to overshadow the rest: Zero home runs.

"They'll come," manager Rob Thomson predicted shortly before first pitch on Wednesday afternoon.

Not only did Turner deliver his first homer just two hours later, but he also added a single, a double and a stolen base in a vintage performance to lead the Phillies to a 5-2 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Turner's thoughts on getting that first homer in a Phillies uniform?

"Tied Bryson [Stott] in the one column," Turner joked as Stott, who has just one homer amid his historic start, smiled one locker away. "But no, it felt good. It's been a minute, but I wanted to drive the baseball, and today, I kind of got back to hitting some balls hard. So, it felt good."

Turner certainly hit the ball hard on Wednesday. All four balls he put in play had an exit velocity of at least 99 mph, marking just the second time in his career that he's hit four balls 99 mph or harder in the same game (the other came on Sept. 20, 2019, with the Nationals).

Turner's impressive all-around day, however, was nearly a historic one. He finished a triple shy of becoming the first player in AL/NL history to hit for four career cycles -- and he had a couple shots to make history.

After homering off White Sox starter Mike Clevinger in the first inning, Turner notched a single off Clevinger in the third and added a double off reliever Tanner Banks in the fourth. Turner stepped to the dish in the sixth and promptly ripped a line drive toward the left-center-field gap, only to have center fielder Luis Robert Jr. track it down.

Turner, who pointed out that he finished a single shy of the cycle in this same ballpark on June 10, 2019, acknowledged that he was thinking triple when he came to the plate.

"I tried doing it, but it didn't work out," Turner said. "On that fourth one, I thought I kind of got it away from Luis, but he took a really good route. Sometimes it just doesn't line up."

Turner had one more chance in the ninth, but he struck out swinging. The Phillies have not had a player hit for the cycle since June 28, 2004 (David Bell).

"Obviously, didn't put a good last at-bat together," Turner said. "It happens, but still a good day."

Or a “heck of a day,” as teammate Brandon Marsh put it.

Turner finished 3-for-5 with one home run, two RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Even his lineout to Robert was a 103.3 mph scorcher that had a hit probability of 70%, per Statcast.

"I wouldn't even know what goes through a pitcher's mind when he steps up," said Marsh, who has bragging rights over both Turner and Stott after hitting his third homer of the season in the second inning. "Trea is Trea -- the name speaks for itself. He's a special talent and we're blessed to have him."

But this wasn't exactly a breakout game for Turner.

Sure, he entered the day without a homer, but he was still hitting .303 with a pair of triples and three stolen bases. Plus, Turner hit just one home run in his first 34 games last year on his way to a 21-homer, 100-RBI season for the Dodgers.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's three-hit effort marked Turner's 10th multihit performance in 19 games this season. The only player across the Majors with more multihit efforts is fellow one-homer-club member Stott, who recorded his 12th multihit effort in the series-clinching victory.

In fact, Turner wasn’t even off to a slow start by his own elite standards. His 26 hits this season are tied for his most through the first 19 games in any of his nine big league seasons.

“Triple short of the cycle, stolen base, played great defense -- he had a great ballgame today,” manager Rob Thomson said. “When him and Stott get on base, we'll score. That's pretty much the way it's going to be.”

To that point, Turner is slashing .441/.500/.559 (1.059 OPS) with 12 runs scored in the Phillies' eight wins. He's slashing .234/.280/.362 (.642 OPS) with three runs in their 11 losses.

As Turner goes, the Phillies go.