Masataka Yoshida belted two home runs in the eighth inning on Sunday, April 23, helping power the visiting Boston Red Sox past the Milwaukee Brewers 12-5.
Boston, which trailed 4-3 entering the top of the eighth, batted around in the pivotal inning. The Red Sox scored nine runs off Brewers relievers Matt Bush and Javy Guerra, sending 12 batters to the plate in the eighth at American Family Field.
Designated hitter Justin Turner hit a game-tying solo homer off Bush to lead off the eighth. Yoshida, the cleanup hitter, followed with a blast off Bush, sending his 0-2 curveball over the fence in right field to make it 5-4.
Later in the inning, the Japanese left fielder again stepped into the batter's box ― this time with the bases loaded and two outs. And again Yoshida went deep, crushing Guerra's 0-2 slider into the second deck in right for his third homer of the season. (Watch the game highlight on MLB.com.)
Boston led 12-4 when its big rally ended.
"This is a really good, good day for me," Yoshida said through a translator, according to The Associated Press. "Still, we are in the season, the beginning of the season. I'd like to keep preparing, keep playing hard."
Yoshida Accomplishes Rare Feat for an MLB Rookie
Yoshida, who had a game-high six RBIs, became the fourth MLB rookie to hit two home runs in the same inning, and the first since Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees in 1962, according to ESPN.
What's more, he's the fourth Red Sox player to smack two homers in the same inning, The Associated Press reported. The others: Bill Regan (1928), Ellis Burks (1990), Nomar Garciaparra (2002) and David Ortiz (2008).
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Yoshida sacrifice fly. They extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning before the Brewers chipped away at the lead, tied it in the fifth and took a short-lived lead in the seventh.
Yoshida Working to Improve His Hitting
Entering the game, Yoshida was batting .193. He raised his average to .231 with a 2-for-4 effort.
Yoshida has hit safely in three consecutive games, including a 2-for-5 effort against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, April 20. He was hitless in four straight games before that and his average had dipped to a season-low .167.
Working with Red Sox hitting coach Peter Fatse has helped Yoshida make adjustments to his swing.
"I talked to the hitting coach about my mechanics and hitting form. And I found a better one," Yoshida was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. "I feel more comfortable right now."
An accomplished star for the Orix Buffaloes before joining the Red Sox on a five-year contract in December 2022, Yoshida had a career .327 batting average in seven NPB seasons.