NEW YORK (AP) — Jordan Diaz picked the perfect place to make a name for himself: Yankee Stadium.
The little-known Oakland Athletics rookie launched three home runs Tuesday night in a 10-5 loss to the New York Yankees, joining Héctor López as the only second basemen in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
“I know the big leagues is not going to be like that every night,” a smiling Diaz said through a translator in front of his locker. “But I’ve just been working on it, making some adjustments.”
Diaz hit a solo shot in the fourth inning off starter Clarke Schmidt, a leadoff drive in the seventh against Albert Abreu, and a two-run homer in the eighth off Greg Weissert.
The right-handed batter pulled all three drives to left field, sending the last one 413 feet into Oakland’s bullpen in left-center.
“Every at-bat I was kind of getting a better feeling for. Every at-bat I was feeling better and better. I was also seeing the ball better — every at-bat I was more comfortable,” Diaz said. “That’s the stuff I’ve been working on.”
His three home runs on one night gave the 22-year-old from Colombia four in 30 major league games. He doubled his season RBI total to eight and raised his batting average from .237 to .286.
“For me, it’s a very special day,” Diaz said. “I’m just really excited and happy for what happened to me today — especially here.”
Diaz said he’d never hit three homers in a game before — at any level — and he plans to keep the souvenir ball from No. 3 at home.
It was the 29th three-homer game in club history and the 17th since the A’s moved to Oakland in 1968.
López was the only other A’s second baseman to go deep three times in one game. He did it with the Kansas City Athletics in June 1958 against the Washington Senators.
The previous A’s player to hit three home runs in a game was Khris Davis in May 2016 against Texas. The only other Oakland players since 2005 to do it were Danny Valencia, two days before Davis at Tampa Bay, and Josh Reddick in August 2013 at Toronto.