The home run is still one of the most thrilling feats in baseball.
And when a player goes yard more than once – or twice or thrice – in a single game, people start to flip through the record books.
A four-homer game is undeniably one of the greatest and most difficult achievements for a hitter, with even the most prolific power sluggers rarely hitting the all-time mark. In fact, other than Willie Mays, none of the top-10 home run hitters in baseball history were able to do it (however, Babe Ruth is tied for most in a postseason game). Even Barry Bonds, who holds the single-season home run record, didn’t make the cut.
The rarity of multiple round-trippers in a game brings up the question: Who has hit the most home runs in a single game?
Most Home Runs in a Game: 16 Players Tied (Four)
J.D. Martinez, Arizona Diamondbacks (Sept. 4, 2017 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
Martinez hit a two-run run homer in the fourth inning, then proceeded to hit a dinger in each of the final three innings to cap off a 13-0 routing of the D-Backs’ division rival Dodgers. The midseason acquisition averaged nearly a home run every two games for Arizona, ultimately ending the season with 45 home runs.
Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds (June 6, 2017 vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
In just one game, Gennett surpassed his then-home run total of three on the season. He started the feat with a bang, hitting a grand slam in the third, and later, a pair of two-run homers and a solo moonshot. He finished the game with a career-high 10 RBIs and 17 total bags – and went on to hit three more grand slams during the 2017 season.
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers (May 8, 2012 vs. Baltimore Orioles)
Carlos Delgado, Toronto Blue Jays (Sept. 25, 2003 vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
In one of the final games of the season, Delgado hit some milestones with his four home runs. His three-run knock in the first inning was the 300th in his career, and his solo shot in the sixth was his 40th on the season. And the slugger is the only player on the list to hit all four in just as many at bats.
Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers (May 23, 2002 vs. Milwaukee Brewers)
Green managed to go 6-for-6, with a three-run jack and three solo homers. And by the ninth inning, he set a major league record with 19 total bases in a game.
Mike Cameron, Seattle Mariners (May 2, 2002 vs. Chicago White Sox)
The Mariners started off with a 10-run first inning against the White Sox – where Cameron and Bret Boone became the first teammates to hit each a pair of home runs in the same inning. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Cameron made the list for most home runs in a game in only 5 innings.
Mike Whiten, St. Louis Cardinals (Sept. 7, 1993 vs. Cincinnati Reds)
Prior to Gennett’s four-homer showing against the Cards, St. Louis’ Whiten went 4-for-5 against the Reds (in the second leg of a doubleheader). He started off with a two-out grand slam in the first inning, and then continued with a pair of three-run jacks in the sixth and seventh, and a homer that scored two in the ninth. Whiten’s 12 RBIs in the game are tied for most in MLB history.
Bob Horner, Atlanta Braves (July 6, 1986 vs. Montreal Expos)
Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies (Apr. 17, 1976 vs. Chicago Cubs)
The Phillies’ 18-16 win over the Cubs was a power-hitting display, featuring five dingers hit by players other than Schmidt. Down 13-2 in the top of the fifth inning, the Hall of Famer clubbed a two-run homer – and this was the first of his three two-out blasts in the game. The game went into extra innings, and he went deep with a three-run jack in the top of the 10th to seal the win for the Phillies.
- Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants (Apr. 30, 1961 vs. Milwaukee Braves)
- Rocky Colavito, Cleveland Indians (June 10, 1959 vs. Baltimore Orioles)
- Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves (July 31, 1954 vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
- Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers (Aug. 31, 1950 vs. Boston Braves)
- Pat Seerey, Chicago White Sox (July 18, 1948 vs. Philadelphia Athletics
- Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies (July 10, 1936 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees (June 3, 1932 vs. Philadelphia Athletics)
Most Home Runs in a Postseason/World Series Game: 12 Players Tied (Three)
Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers (2021 NLCS Game 5 vs. Atlanta Braves)
Down 3-1 to the Braves, the Dodgers faced elimination in Game 5 of the NLCS. Chris Taylor joined elite company, with a pair of two-run homers in second and fifth innings, and a two-out solo shot in the seventh. Taylor delivered six of the team’s 11 RBIs, keeping Los Angeles in the running – until they would be sent home by Atlanta in Game 6.
Kiké Hernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers (2017 NLCS Game 5 vs. Chicago Cubs)
Just four years before, the Dodgers were also playing in Game 5 of the NLCS – except this time, they held a 3-1 lead. Hernandez, who had only gone long eight times so far that season, hit a solo shot in the second inning. He really got the ball rolling in the third with a grand slam that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 7-0, and he completed the feat with a two-run homer in the ninth. Spurred by Hernandez’s three jacks, the Dodgers were able to clinch their first World Series berth in 29 years.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros (2017 ALDS Game 1 vs. Boston Red Sox)
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants (2012 WS Game 1 vs. Detroit Tigers)
After mounting comebacks in the NLDS and NLCS, the Giants were in a grove as they entered the 2012 World Series – and took home Game 1 with help from Sandoval’s three homers. Facing former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, he hit a solo shot in the first inning and a two-out, two-run dinger in the fifth. Verlander was pulled after four innings, and Sandoval went yard for the third time in the fifth. The Giants swept the Tigers, winning their second title in three years.
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (2011 WS Game 3 vs. Texas Rangers)
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (2011 ALDS Game 4 vs. Tampa Bay Rays)
Adam Kennedy, Anaheim Angels (2002 ALCS Game 5 vs. Minnesota Twins)
In the ’02 regular season, Kennedy hit just seven homers in his 474 at bats. But he showcased some power hitting in Game 5 of the ALCS, where the Angels held a 2-1 lead in the series. The Twins were up 2-0 by the top of the second inning. But spurred by Kennedy’s two-solo shots in the third and the fifth, the Angels chipped away at the lead. Besides his three-run jack in the seventh, they poured on seven more runs that inning – sealing the win and sending the Angels to the World Series for the first time in the team’s history.
George Brett, Kansas City Royals (1978 ALCS Game 3 vs. New York Yankees)
Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees (1977 WS Game 6 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
In one of the most famous World Series games in MLB history, Jackson’s nickname, “Mr. October,” emerged. In the fourth inning, the outfielder hit a two-run dinger. He then followed up with another in the fifth and a solo shot in the eighth. The energy at Yankee Stadium was electric, with fans stunned by the fact that he hit the trio of homers on the first pitch of each at-bat. Jackson became the first player in nearly 50 years to have three knocks in a World Series game. More importantly, he helped the Yankees take home a title – a feat they would repeat the next year.
- Bob Robertson, Pittsburgh Pirates (1971 NLCS Game 2 vs. San Francisco Giants)
- Babe Ruth, New York Yankees (1928 WS Game 4 vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
- Babe Ruth, New York Yankees (1926 WS Game 4 vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
Most Team Home Runs in a Game
On Sept. 14, 1987, the Toronto Blue Jays set the single-game record that still stands with 10 home runs in an 18-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Ernie Whitt smacked three homers in the rout, while George Bell and Rance Mulliniks hit two apiece.
It was Bell’s 44th and 45th homers of an AL MVP season in which he ended up with 47.
The Reds are second on that all-time list with the nine they hit in a 22-3 rout of the Phillies on Sept. 4, 1999. Eddie Taubensee belted a pair as eight different Cincinnati players went deep in that contest, including Greg Vaughn’s 30th of the year. Incredibly, Vaughn finished that season with 45 homers, crushing 14 in September alone.
Twenty-nine teams have hit eight homers in a game. The Dodgers have done it three times (in 2002, 2019 and 2021), so have the Twins (1963 and twice in 2019). The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Yankees, Rangers, Blue Jays and Washington Nationals and Cleveland have hit eight twice.
Most Team Home Runs in a Postseason Game
It had to feel good for the Cubs and their fans in 2015 when the club hit a playoff-record six home runs in an 8-6 win over the hated rival Cardinals in Game 3 of the NL Division Series.
Kyle Schwarber hit one of those bombs and provided perhaps the most memorable moment of the series in Game 4 when he hit a home run off Cardinals left-hander Kevin Siegrist that landed on top of the Wrigley Field videoboard in right field. The ball was later placed inside a plexiglass case by the Cubs and returned to where it landed.
The Cubs are one of many tied for second on this list with five homers in a playoff game. They hit that number in Game 1 of the 1984 NLCS against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers (2020 and 2021) and Oakland Athletics (1989, 2020) have done this twice and the Chicago White Sox (2005), Astros (2017), Yankees (1928), Padres (2020), Phillies (2022) and Cardinals (2004) once.
Which team will be the next to produce a staggering home run total? Only the outfield fences know.
Most Team Home Runs in a World Series Game
Four teams have hit five home runs in a World Series contest. The Bronx Bombers did it in Game 4 of the 1928 Series against the Cardinals. The A’s belted five in Game 6 of the 1989 Series at San Francisco, before the previously mentioned Astros matched it in Game 5 of the 2017 Series after hitting four in Game 2.
The Phillies tied the record with five against the Astros in Game 3 of the 2022 Fall Classic.