Jun 10 2014, 7:17am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Scan the players listed on this summer's American League All-Star ballot and Lonnie Chisenhall's name is nowhere to be found. During Spring Training, when teams turn in names for the annual vote, there were not guarantees that Chisenhall would be on the Opening Day roster.
"Now, with roughly one month remaining until the Midsummer Classic, it is hard to imagine Chisenhall not being worthy of a spot on the league's elite squad.
"On Monday night in Texas, Chisenhall continued one of baseball's most unlikely first-half surges, belting three home runs, churning out five hits and collecting nine RBIs in a 17-7 rout of the Rangers. It was not just a career night for the Cleveland corner infielder, but one of the greatest single-game performances in baseball history.
"'I know a day like today is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing,' Chisenhall said. 'I'm just so happy.'
"In helping lead the Tribe to a series victory and its ninth win in 10 games, Chisenhall became only the fourth player in all of baseball in the past 100 years to have at least three homers, five hits and nine RBIs in a game. The others on that short list include Boston's Fred Lynn (June 18, 1975), Brooklyn's Gil Hodges (Aug. 31, 1950), and Cincinnati's Walker Cooper (July 6, 1949).
"Chisenhall is the only one within that historic quartet to not record an out.
"Chisenhall's nine RBIs matched a franchise record, which was first set on May 4, 1991, by Chris James. This marked the 32nd time in club history that a player had at least three home runs in a game, falling one blast shy of Rocky Covalito's four-homer game in 1959.
"Simply put, Chisenhall enjoyed arguably the greatest offensive night in Cleveland's 114-year history.
"'I'm enjoying it as much as I can,' said Chisenhall, whose bat, jersey and spikes were being authenticated after the game. 'I don't know the history of it -- who's done it in the past. They told me it's a short list and I'm proud to be part of any short list.'"
"Here's what Chisenhall's line looked like: 5-5, three runs, three homers, one single, one double, nine RBI. The last player to have at least three homers, five hits and nine RBIs in a game was Boston's Fred Lynn on June 18, 1975. Lynn was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year that season.
"'Stating the obvious, that's a huge night,' said manager Terry Francona.
"Chisenhall's second five-hit game of the season raised his average to .385 (62 for 161). He still doesn't have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Chisenhall started the game averaging 2.79 plate appearances per game. A player must average at least 3.1.
"Nick Martinez (1-2, 4.63) gave up Chisenhall's first homer on a 1-1 pitch in the second. George Kottaras started that inning with a homer.
"Chisenhall's next two homers came against Scott Baker. His drive to right field in the fourth came on a 1-1 pitch. Chisenhall's homer just inside the right-field pole in the eighth came on a 2-2 pitch.
"'In the eighth inning we had two guys on and no outs,' said Chisenhall. 'I was just trying to make hard contact.'"
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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