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Gennett becomes 17th player with 4-HR game

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan didn't do it. Neither did George Foster, Eric Davis or Barry Larkin. Ditto for Joey Votto, Jay Bruce or Brandon Phillips. The first Reds player to hit four home runs in one game will forever be … Scooter Gennett?

That's right, Gennett. The utility player -- and Cincinnati native -- who got a start in left field on Tuesday slugged a franchise-record four home runs and tied another team record with 10 RBIs while going 5-for-5 during the Reds' 13-1 rout of the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

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CINCINNATI -- Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan didn't do it. Neither did George Foster, Eric Davis or Barry Larkin. Ditto for Joey Votto, Jay Bruce or Brandon Phillips. The first Reds player to hit four home runs in one game will forever be … Scooter Gennett?

That's right, Gennett. The utility player -- and Cincinnati native -- who got a start in left field on Tuesday slugged a franchise-record four home runs and tied another team record with 10 RBIs while going 5-for-5 during the Reds' 13-1 rout of the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

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"It's surreal, man. It really is," Gennett marveled. "I'm truly blessed being from here, born here and watching all those guys play when I was little. To do something that's never been done, I don't know, I can't put words to it. It's an honor for sure."

Video: STL@CIN: Gennett feeling lucky after four-homer game

This was a feat of history seen less often in Major League history than a perfect game. There have been 23 perfect games, but Gennett was just the 17th player to slug four homers.

• Cut4: Gennett's historic game had it all

"That's pretty crazy, man," the 5-foot-10 Gennett said. "Especially when you think of a guy like me, not a huge guy. But that's baseball. It's not how big or strong you are, it's how efficient and sometimes lucky."

The homestand started Friday with Phillips -- now with the Braves -- taking issue with the Reds not removing his No. 4 jersey from circulation following his February trade to honor his tenure with the club. The number was assigned to Gennett, who was claimed off waivers from the Brewers near the end of Spring Training.

DYK: Gennett has a slam and career night

Hitting four home runs while wearing No. 4 will be seen on Reds highlight reels for decades to come. Gennett is the first player in Major League history to have five hits, four home runs and 10 RBIs in a game. His 17 total bases is also a new club record.

Video: STL@CIN: Gennett belts his fourth homer of the night

The only other player with four hits and a grand slam in the same game was the Cardinals' Mark Whiten, and it happened in Cincinnati vs. the Reds on Sept. 7, 1993, at Riverfront Stadium.

"Feels pretty cool," Gennett said. "That's something I never thought I would do. Even three home runs would be too crazy for me. Obviously, it was a good night. I made a few adjustments, just more trying to relax. I think I was able to swing at better pitches, which the end result was pretty good."

• Reds in awe of Gennett's historic power display

When Gennett busts out of slumps, he really busts out. He ended a 0-for-19 slump Monday with the game-winning two-run double in a 4-2 over the Cardinals. Gennett's bountiful Tuesday evening started in less-grandiose fashion in the bottom of the first inning with two outs. It was a blooped single to short left field that scored Billy Hamilton with the game's first run.

Posnanski: Gennett exceeds expectations

With one out in the third inning and the bases loaded, Gennett attacked a 3-2 sinker from starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, and sent the ball into the right-center-field seats. According to Statcast™, the grand slam had a 102-mph exit velocity and traveled a projected 404 feet.

Video: STL@CIN: Gennett launches a grand slam to right field

It was the second grand slam of Gennett's career. His first came for the Brewers against the Nationals on June 25, 2015.

Wainwright was lifted following a bases-loaded triple by Eugenio Suarez in the fourth with two outs. Reliever John Gant fared no better vs. Gennett, who tattooed a 3-2 fastball to center field for a two-run homer. That gave him his first multihomer game since Aug. 13, 2013, at Texas.

When Gennett connected again against Gant again in the sixth, he became the first Reds player to hit three homers in a game since Votto on June 9, 2015, vs. the Phillies. The crowd of 18,620 fans erupted with an ovation and asked for a curtain call from Gennett, who obliged.

Video: STL@CIN: Gennett smacks his third homer of the game

"He had a career night, a great night," Wainwright said. "Guys do that every now and then. He almost beat us by himself tonight."

But Gennett was not quite done. He was the fourth batter due up in the eighth inning, but he got to bat when Scott Schebler drew a walk two spots ahead of him. After looking at a first-pitch strike, Gennett appeared to be swinging out of his shoes and missed big for strike two. But he said that was not the case.

"It obviously probably looked like it. But my batting glove got caught in my other hand and I released with my other hand. It was like, 'Ahhh!'" Gennett said. "I know if I try to hit a home run, it's not going to happen. I just tried to relax and put a good swing on the ball, and it ended up working out."

On the next pitch, Gennett hit a drive into the right-field seats for his historic fourth homer.

"I kind of laughed, to be honest. It's just crazy," Gennett said. "For a guy like me to have done it, it's amazing. It's maybe a little bit short of a miracle. Baseball is an amazing game. You can go from 0-for-19 to four home runs in a game. It's pretty wild."

Video: STL@CIN: Price on Gennett's huge four homer night

It was the first time since Josh Hamilton did it for the Rangers on May 8, 2012, that there has been a four-homer game in the Majors. According to Statcast™, Gennett's four homers totaled 1,568 feet.

"You're a point where it's very emotional, it really is. You're seeing history. Not many people have done it," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's kind of an honor just to bear witness to it."

Below is a list of the 16 other players in big league history to record a four-homer game:
Josh Hamilton, Rangers, May 8, 2012
Carlos Delgado, Blue Jays, Sept. 25, 2003
Shawn Green, Dodgers, May 23, 2002
Mike Cameron, Mariners, May 2, 2002
Mark Whiten, Cardinals, Sept. 7, 1993
Bob Horner, Braves, July 6, 1986
Mike Schmidt, Phillies, April 17, 1976
Willie Mays, Giants, April 30, 1961
Rocky Colavito, Indians, June 10, 1959
Joe Adcock, Braves, July 31, 1954
Gil Hodges, Dodgers, Aug. 31, 1950
Pat Seerey, White Sox, July 18, 1948
Chuck Klein, Phillies, July 10, 1936
Lou Gehrig, Yankees, June 3, 1932
Ed Delahanty, Phillies, July 13, 1896
Bobby Lowe, Beaneaters, May 30, 1894

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett