Suárez's 49th HR sets NL record for position

September 26th, 2019

CINCINNATI -- With his first-inning solo home run against the Brewers on Wednesday night during a 9-2 defeat at Great American Ball Park, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez surpassed one Hall of Famer and tied a future one.

It was Suárez’s 49th homer of the season, which passed Mike Schmidt and Adrian Beltre’s single-season record for most homers by a National League third baseman. Schmidt collected that mark for the Phillies in 1980 and Beltre for the Dodgers in 2004.

“I’m so happy. You can’t tell on my face right now because we lost,” Suárez said. "Personally, it made me feel proud of myself like I always say. The last four games, I will do my best to see if I can hit more than 49.”

The Major League record for homers in a season by a third baseman belongs to Alex Rodriguez, who hit 52 for the Yankees in 2007. (Rodriguez hit an additional two homers as a designated hitter that season.)

Rookie Pete Alonso of the Mets also homered Wednesday vs. the Marlins -- his 51st -- keeping Suárez two home runs off the pace for the Major League lead.

“It’d be nice to have him hit 50,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It’s still, no matter where he ends up, a great season in many, many ways. The home runs have been a big part of that. It’s a nice number to shoot for. If he happens to get it, it’ll be great. More than anything, we’re happy for the year he’s had, how he’s handling it and he continues to play really well.”

With his club trailing 6-0 after the top of the first inning, Suárez provided a needed bright glimmer. Facing Jordan Lyles, he attacked the first pitch and easily cleared the left-field fence.

“He tried coming in with the fastball and missed it right in my power strike zone,” Suárez said. “I just thought about being aggressive with him and put a good swing on that ball.”

Suárez's homer was the 222nd of the season for Cincinnati, which tied the club's single-season record set in 2005.

The long ball also tied Suárez with Ted Kluszewski for second most in a single season in franchise history. Kluszewski slugged 49 homers in 1954. The team record of 52 was set by George Foster in '77.

When Suárez hit his 48th homer on Sept. 18 vs. the Cubs at Wrigley, he established a new single-season record for players from Venezuela, surpassing Andrés Galarraga.

“All my records are special, they’re big time and different to me,” Suárez said. “I feel so happy and so proud of myself because I never thought to set records in the big leagues. I grew up in Venezuela watching big guys like Galarraga, [Miguel Cabrera], Barry Bonds and all those guys that can hit homers. And now, I’m here and I made those records. It’s special. I just enjoy it. I never imagined it. It never passed in my mind to do what I’ve done right now. I have to enjoy it.”