Cleveland Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall had a night for the history books in the Tribe's 17-7 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington Monday night.
Chisenhall collected five of Cleveland's 18 hits, smacked three home runs and drove in a career-high nine runs. In doing so, he became the first Indians player ever to reach both marks in the same game.
"You know, I felt good at the plate," Chisenhall told Sportstime Ohio after the win. "It's just a matter of one at-bat at a time. Things fell into place, but the pitching staff did a great job. Hitting's contagious and we were hitting all night."
Chisenhall had a pair of seven-pitch at-bats, and when he smacked his third home run of the game, he fought off two straight sinking fastballs out of the strike zone before taking an off-speed pitch over the wall.
Chisenhall, who raised his already high batting average by 20 points to .385 with Monday's performance, has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games -- including seven straight contests -- and has had multiple hits in six of those games.
"I don't know," Chisenhall said of why he has been consistent. "I try not to think about it too much. Me and Van Bo (Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo), we put in a lot of work in the cage. It started from preparation and moved forward to taking it to the game, having confidence, never giving up in the box, and it's just been a good year so far."
In addition to becoming the first Indians player ever to have three home runs and nine RBI in the same game, Chisenhall equaled Chris James' club record for RBI in a game. Also, he became the fourth player in Major League history with five hits, three or more home runs and at least nine RBI in the same game.
Prior to Chisenhall, only Boston All-Star outfielder Fred Lynn (1975), Brooklyn All-Star first baseman/outfielder Gil Hodges (1950) and New York Giants/Cincinnati Reds All-Star catcher Walker Cooper (1949) had five-hit games with three or more home runs and nine or more RBI in a game.
"What he's turning into is fun to watch, and it's right in front of our eyes," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He fouled off about four pitches that were out of the strike zone and just gets something he could handle. He feels good about himself. Again, I'm stating the obvious. He should."
Chisenhall's production came on a night when Indians starter T.J. House allowed six hits, two walks and five earned runs in only 3.1 innings pitched.
"That was a huge night on a night when T.J. goes out and isn't commanding," Francona said. "The hope is that he'll find it, and start throwing some ground balls, and he really never did, but we swung the bats so well and we kept after them and were able to piece it together with the bullpen and didn't have to overuse anybody because the guys that came in got outs.
"In Ax's (John Axford's) first inning, they run into the double play. That limits his pitches so he can go back out. We swung the bats really well, and I thought we ran the bases well. Early in the game, Bourney (Michael Bourn) going to third and Cabby (Asdrubal Cabrera) following him into second, I thought set the tone for the whole night."