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Tigers' J.D. Martinez joins elite company with 3-homer game

JD Martinez homered three times today against the New York Yankees. While Yankee Stadium isn't exactly pitcher-friendly, Martinez showed some serious flex.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It's safe to say that J.D. Martinez was locked in on Sunday afternoon against the New York Yankees. He homered three times, twice off of Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, and once more off of reliever Danny Burawa. With his three bombs, Martinez became the first Tiger to homer three times in a game since Miguel Cabrera on May 19, 2013 (ironically, the Tigers lost the game to the Rangers).

Going all the way back to 1914, you'll find only 22 instances -- Martinez makes 23 -- of a Tigers batter hitting three homers in a single game. Cabrera owns the last two. Here are some others of note:

  • Back in 2003, when the club lost 119 games, Carlos Pena hit three homers with seven RBI in a game the Tigers lost 10-9.
  • Bobby Higginson did it twice (1997 and 2000).
  • Cecil Fielder did it three times, a team record. He accomplished the feat twice in 1990 and once in 1996.
  • Tiger legends Bill Freehan and Willie Horton both hit three homers in a game.
  • Hall of Famers Al Kaline and Ty Cobb also accomplished the feat.
  • Steve Boros hit three home runs in a game back in 1962.  He hit only 23 other home runs in the rest of his career.
While the Tigers haven't see J.D. get on base or hit for average at the clip he did last season, his power is undeniable. His ability to hit it out to all fields makes him a huge weapon in the middle of the Tigers lineup.