Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9, 1973: Bench Blasts Three Against Carlton

     On May 9, 1973, Cincinnati's Johnny Bench added the second three home run game of his career to his resume, as he led his Reds to a 9-7 victory over the Phillies All three of the big blasts came against future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton who had been on the receiving end of Bench's first three home run game in 1970 when Carlton was hurling for the Cardinals. Bench also tied a major league record with four consecutive home runs, as he had homered in his last trip to the plate during the previous game. At the end of this day Bench had recorded seven RBIs, and he had helped set the table for Dave Concepcion whose ninth inning 2-run-shot was the game decider. Bench's third three home run game came in 1980 against the Padres in San Diego.

     Bench feasted on Steve Carlton pitches, hitting 12 long balls while facing him, which ranked Carlton at the top of his list of victimized pitchers. Don Sutton shared the ranking with Carlton as he had also served up 12 homers to the Hall of Famer. Phil Niekro was right behind them both; he turned his head and watched 11 balls fly over the wall while Bench was at the plate.

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI197305090.shtml

Johnny Bench's home run log can be viewed here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.cgi?id=benchjo01&t=b

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