Lonnie Chisenhall added another chapter to his surprising season on Monday with a night for the record books.
In the Indians’ 17-7 win over Texas, Chisenhall became the first player in MLB history to have five hits, three home runs and nine RBI in five plate appearances. Previously three other players had five hits, three homers and nine RBI but had more plate appearances — Fred Lynn (1975) and Gil Hodges (1950) each had six and Walter Cooper (1949) did it in seven.
"I know it was a short list and I’m glad to be a part of it," Chisenhall told reporters after the game. "I’m so happy with the team winning the series. So many good things happened today. … I felt like I could get the barrel on most pitches. Everyone was swinging the bat well."
Chisenhall also tied the Indians’ single-game record for RBI. Chris James had nine on May 4, 1991, at Oakland. Chisenhall singled in the first to score Asdrubal Cabrera, had two-run homers in the second and fourth, doubled home Michael Brantley in the sixth and then had a three-run homer in the eighth.
It is also the 12th time in Indians history that a player has hit three or more home runs and driven in six or more runs in a game. Here’s a look at the list:
During the four-game series against the Rangers, Chisenhall was 10 of 17 with four home runs and 13 RBI. He is also on a seven-game hit streak and has gone 14 for 28 during that span with four home runs and 16 RBI.
For the season, Chisenhall has a .385 batting average, which leads the majors for players with 150 plate appearances or more. He would have a 50 point lead over Texas’ Alex Rios if he had enough at-bats to qualify for the league leaders. A player must average 3.1 plate appearances per team game and Chisenhall’s average is presently at 2.82.
Since May 14, Chisenhall is hitting .441 (37 of 84) with seven doubles, seven home runs and 29 RBI in 24 games.
"I’m focusing on getting hits (instead of hitting a home run every at-bat). That’s how I played when I was younger," Chisenhall said. "I’m learning when is a good time to take chances and when in those counts a good situation is."
Added Terry Francona after the game: "What he’s turning into is fun to watch. He feels good about himself, he should."
The Tribe starts a two-game series in Kansas City on Tuesday. With Monday’s win and the White Sox beating the Tigers, Cleveland is within two games of Detroit.