Kendrys Morales joins elite group with a two-HR inning

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Kendry Morales

Kendry Morales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Angels DH Kendrys Morales last night hit a pair of home runs in the sixth inning to become the 53rd player in major league history to hit two home runs in an inning. Morales, a switch-hitter, homered from both sides of the plate during the Angels’ ninth-run sixth inning to become only the third player in history to accomplish that rarity.

Morales, who became the first Angels player since Rick Reichardt to hit two homers in an inning (Reichardt hit two four-baggers in one inning in 1966), now has 11 home runs for the season. In the previous 56 times that a player has hit two home runs in an inning, in 38 of those occasions, the player hit 20 or more home runs in that season. Will Morales fall into the “20 or more HRs” in that season or “fewer than 20 HRs” in that season?

Following are the players who had fewer than 20 HRs in the season when they hit two home runs in an inning in a game.

Player, Team, Year, HRs that season

Charley Jones, Boston Braves, 1880: 5

Hack Wilson, N.Y. Giants, 1925: 6

Bill Regan, Boston, 1928: 7

John Boccabella, Montreal, 1973: 7

Joe Pepitone, N.Y. Yankees, 1962: 7

Juan Rivera, Montreal, 2004: 12

Julio Lugo, Tampa Bay, 2006: 12

Jake Stenzel, Pittsburgh, 1894: 13

Von Hayes, Philadelphia, 1985: 13

Ray Knight, Cincinnati, 1980: 14

Rick Reichardt, California, 1966: 16

Carl Everett, Texas, 2002: 16

Bobby Lowe, Boston Braves, 1894: 17

Dave Nilsson, Milwaukee, 1996: 17

Jeff King, Pittsburgh, 1995: 18

Jared Sandberg, Tampa Bay, 2002: 18

Benjie Molina, San Francisco, 2007: 19

Here’s a few more interesting stats regarding players who hit two or more home runs in an inning.

* Morales hit his two HRs in the sixth inning. The sixth inning has been the most popular inning for players to accomplish this feat.  Of the 57 times when a player has hit two or more HRs in an inning, it has happened in the sixth inning 12 times. It has occurred in the fourth and fifth inning eight times each. It has never happened after the eighth inning in a game.

* Four players have accomplished this twice in their careers: Willie McCovey (1973, 1977), Andre Dawson (1978, 1985), Jeff King (1995, 1996) and Alex Rodriguez (2007, 2009).

* This rare feat has happened in the month of June 12 times, in July and August 10 times each, and in May nine times.

* In the 2002 season, there were seven times that a player hit two home runs in an inning; that’s the most of any season. It happened five times in the American League and twice in the National League that season. In fact, it happened twice in one game, the only time that has happened in baseball history: On May 2, 2002, Seattle’s Bret Boone and Mike Cameron each hit a pair of home runs in the first inning for the Mariners, who scored 10 runs in that inning. Boone hit a pair of two-run home runs in the inning; Cameron hit two solo shots in the first. Cameron went on to hit four HRs in that game, all solo shots in the Mariners, who defeated the Chicago White Sox 15-4 in that contest.

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