Eric Davis said it was just “one of those days,” but he’s had too many big days recently for Wednesday to be called a fluke.
Davis hit three home runs, drove in four runs and scored five runs at San Francisco to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 14-2 rout of the Giants.
“It was just one of those days when everything worked out for me,” said Davis, a right-handed batter who hit two of his homers over the right-field fence.
“I’ve never had three homers in a game before, even in Little League. I hit all of them well, and even I am surprised about my power to the off-field this season.”
Davis, who also singled and stole his 66th base, is batting .295 and has 26 homers in only 349 at-bats.
He has been especially tough on the Giants, hitting nine homers at Candlestick Park since he reached the majors in 1984. Of his 44 career homers, 11 have come against Giant pitching.
“In my opinion, he has more raw talent than anyone in the league,” Giant Manager Roger Craig said. “He reminds me a little of Hank Aaron, and he runs a little better than Aaron did.”
Davis has 21 homers since June 15, when he began playing regularly. He has 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in his last 22 games.
Red Manager Pete Rose believes Davis is just beginning to bloom as a power hitter.
“He didn’t play regularly this year and he has 26,” Rose pointed out. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he’s the only player around now with a legitimate chance of leading the league in batting and stolen bases someday.”
The last Cincinnati player to hit three home runs in a game was Johnny Bench on May 29, 1980.
At 175 pounds, Davis doesn’t look the part of a slugger.
“I don’t know where I get my power,” he said. “I generate a lot of bat speed, I guess. I’m not a big, strong guy.”
Davis hit a two-run homer off Vida Blue (9-10) with two out in the first inning and chased Blue with a solo shot in the third. He homered with none on against Mark Davis in the eighth.
Barry Larkin also had four hits and Bo Diaz three for the Reds, who collected a season-high 18 off six San Francisco pitchers.
Ted Power (7-6) pitched three-hit ball for seven innings, and Cincinnati turned five double plays.
Candy Maldonado hit his 15th homer for the Giants.
Chicago 8, Philadelphia 7--Gary Matthews homered twice, and Jody Davis drove in the winning run with a sixth-inning single to give the Cubs a victory over the Phillies at Chicago.
Keith Moreland and Bob Dernier also homered for the Cubs, who won four straight for the first time this season.
Mike Schmidt homered twice for Philadelphia, raising his league-leading total to 34 and his career total to 492, one shy of Lou Gehrig for 14th on the all-time list.
Phillie reliever Kent Tekulve (10-4) took the loss but tied ElRoy Face’s league record with 846 career appearances.
New York 6, Montreal 1--Keith Hernandez and Mookie Wilson hit two-run homers, and Ron Darling allowed five hits in eight innings as the Mets beat the Expos at New York, lowering their magic number to two.
Hernandez and Wilson homered in New York’s four-run first inning off 22-year-old Sergio Valdez, who lost in his major league debut.
Darling (13-5), who lowered his earned-run average to 3.03, was 1-2 with four no-decisions in his previous seven starts and had not won since Aug. 19.
St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 3--Vince Coleman tripled home Jose Oquendo in the ninth to push the Cardinals past the Pirates at Pittsburgh.
Coleman’s hit off Barry Jones (2-3) gave the victory to Ray Soff (3-0). Todd Worrell pitched the ninth for his 33rd save.
San Diego 9, Atlanta 4--Graig Nettles’ tie-breaking single highlighted a six-run eighth inning, and the Padres broke a five-game losing streak by defeating the Braves at San Diego.
John Kruk went 4 for 5, including a homer, and drove in three runs. Reliever Lance McCullers (8-7) helped himself with a two-run double.
Dale Murphy went 4 for 4, including his 27th homer, and drove in all four Atlanta runs.