D-backs power surge: Rojas, Peralta belt 5 combined HRs in win vs. Cubs
The ball was jumping off the bats of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 10-6 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Third baseman Josh Rojas went yard three times for the first time in his career and left fielder David Peralta took Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks yard twice in a power display at Wrigley Field.
Eight of Arizona’s 12 hits went for extra bases, including seven home runs.
Rojas came into the ballgame looking for his first extra-base hit of the season after missing the first 26 games with an oblique strain.
He homered in the third, fifth and seventh innings and drove in four runs. The last D-backs batter to hit three home runs in a game was outfielder A.J. Pollock in 2018.
“I’ve had multi-homer games in the minor leagues and multi-hit games in the the minor leagues, but I’ve never done anything like this,” Rojas told reporters postgame. “This is a pretty good feeling, especially coming into the game with zero and leaving with three.”
Rojas first belted a fastball down the middle 402 feet to the left-center field seats, giving Arizona a 3-2 lead in the third inning. Peralta came up two batters later and upped Rojas with a 414-foot shot to center off a curveball, according to Statcast.
Rojas rakes. pic.twitter.com/AXcePZe47o
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 20, 2022
The outgoing winds in Chicago provided an assist.
“These days have been happening here in this stadium for long, long time,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told reporters postgame. “Whether they’re wind-aided or not they’re home runs and I was proud of the way we fought against a very tough pitcher.”
Rojas came up again with a runner on in the fifth inning and hit a first-pitch fastball 428 feet to center field.
Peralta followed Rojas with another long ball, this time to left-center. Peralta has seven home runs this season with three over his last five games.
Rojas’ third long ball went 409 feet to deep right.
“That first one was definitely a wind ball out to left-center, then the next two I got with good swings,” Rojas said in his postgame interview with Bally Sports Arizona.
Rojas said he was looking for a home run in his first at-bat when he flew out to left. He then went back to his approach of trying to hit line drives, which worked.
“He’s a good hitter,” Lovullo said. “He’s got a nose for the baseball. It’s not necessarily true power, but I think the power is in there.”
The last time two D-backs had multiple home runs in the same game was in 2019 (Eduardo Escobar and Ildemaro Vargas), according to the Bally Sports Arizona broadcast.
Josh Rojas – Arizona Diamondbacks (3) pic.twitter.com/vNnbws2uuI
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 20, 2022
The duo didn’t provide the only fireworks from D-backs hitters on Friday, as rookie center fielder Alek Thomas joined in with a solo blast the opposite way in the sixth inning to give Arizona an 8-3 lead.
Thomas played high school ball at Mount Carmel roughly 15 miles from Wrigley Field and is 3-for-7 in his homecoming.
Alek Thomas goes oppo for his third @MLB homer.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 20, 2022
The 22-year-old has three home runs in 13 career MLB games since getting called up from Triple-A Reno.
First baseman Christian Walker added a seventh D-backs home run in the ninth inning, hitting his fourth long ball in six games.
The Cubs blasted their share of home runs with four, one off the bat of Vargas, who joined Chicago this offseason.
The 11 combined home runs are the most in a single MLB game this year.
Arizona has won the first two contests of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. The third installment begins at 11:20 a.m. Saturday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.