Aug 12, 2011, 9:52 PM EDT
With the 2011 scheduled nearly three-quarters completed, just one pitcher had given up five homers in a game, that being the long-since demoted Sean O’Sullivan of the Royals on May 28 against the Rangers.
On Friday night, it happened twice more to two of the game’s highest-paid pitchers. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia gave up five solo homers — and no other runs — over eight innings in a loss to the Rays, and the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano also surrendered five homers while allowing eight runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves.
After giving up back-to-back homers in the fifth, Zambrano was tossed for throwing at Chipper Jones.
Sabathia, a Cy Young contender trying to become the year’s second 17-game winner, surrendered homers to Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon, Elliot Johnson and Evan Longoria. He had never before allowed more than three homers in a start, and he had given up a total of eight homers in 25 starts this season.
Zambrano, who had turned in four straight quality starts, saw his ERA jump to 4.82 with the showing. Dan Uggla, riding a 31-game hitting streak, took him deep twice. Zambrano has allowed 19 homers in 145 2/3 innings this year, two more than he gave up in 299 innings between 2009 and ’10.
It was the first time either the Rays or the Braves had hit five homers in a game this season.
Sabathia became the first Yankees pitcher to give up five homers since David Wells on July 4, 2003 against the Red Sox. Five Yankees pitchers had done it previously.
Zambrano, meanwhile, was the fourth Cubs pitcher to pull off the feat. It was done previously by Ismael Valdez on June 11, 2000 against the White Sox.
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 16
- Video: Mike Trout makes a ridiculous slide to beat the tag at third base 11
- Cuba’s best pitching prospect is on his way to America 21
- Will Smith suspended for eight games for the foreign substance on his arm 61
- Will Smith’s ejection once again shows baseball’s silly approach to foreign substance rules 48
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 96
- Who really owns a home run ball? 65
- The story behind the Nationals squirting chocolate syrup on each other after big wins 43
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (132)
- Bryce Harper on Marvin Hudson ejection: “I don’t think 40,000 people came to watch him ump” (130)
- Bryce Harper ejected for second time in a week (122)
- GM Dan Jennings to be named the Marlins new manager. And it’s a terrible idea. (111)
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (101)