Lane Thomas Joined An Exclusive Washington Nationals Club
By Max Rayman
Desperate for a much-needed spark, outfielder Lane Thomas torched the Reds for three homers and joined some elite company along the way.
When people think about the top sluggers in Washington Nationals history, usually Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rendon are the first names to come to mind. Understandably so. Each hit over 100 homers during their respective tenures with the Nats and have done nothing but torment opposing pitchers.
But last night against the Cincinnati Reds, it was Lane Thomas who channeled his inner Babe Ruth. With the Nats amidst a four-game losing streak and having only scored six runs during that span, Thomas put the team on his back — hitting a team tying record three home runs in an 8-5 win.
Great American Ball Park is known as a hitter’s park and Thomas took full advantage of that, spraying the ball all over the field. After lining out in his first at-bat, he crushed a four-seam fastball off of starter Mike Minor down the leftfield side that just snuck into fair territory for a two-run shot. His homer put the Nats up 4-2 and they never trailed for the rest of the game.
Known for hitting lefties well and struggling against righties, Thomas was took righty reliever Vladimir Gutierrez deep to right-center in his very next at-bat– a solo shot in the fifth inning.
He came up again in the seventh inning and hit his third straight homer of the night, this one to left field off of Jeff Hoffman. After all was said and done, Thomas became the seventh National to hit three homers in a game, joining Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Kyle Schwarber.
Before the game, Schwarber was the last Nat to reach that accomplishment, slugging three bombs last year in a June 20th win against the Mets. Entering his last at-bat of the game, Thomas had a fourth homer on his mind, but sadly was unable to keep his hot streak going.
“I think, at that point, you’re thinking about, are you going to try to hit another one?” Thomas said. “And then I didn’t. But it’s all right. I tried.”
Thomas entered last night hitting .195, with three homers, 18 RBIs, and an OPS of .581. Nine innings later and Thomas has doubled his amount of homers, and is now hitting .211, with 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .674.