San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson became the fifth player this Major League Baseball season to launch three home runs in a wild, topsy-turvy 13-12 victory on Tuesday night against the New York Mets (box score).
Pederson hit a pair of two-run home runs early on, in the third and fifth innings, that helped San Francisco build an 8-2 lead. The Giants would yield the lead late, however, with the Mets eventually taking an 11-8 lead as part of an eighth-inning rally that included a big-time triple by shortstop Francisco Lindor (who had delivered a two-run home run earlier in the game) as well as timely hits by Starling Marte and Dominic Smith.
The Giants struck back behind Pederson in their half of the eighth inning, as he delivered his third home run of the night -- a three-run shot -- to pad his RBI total to seven and to tie the game at 11-11. The Giants later loaded the bases but were unable to push the go-ahead run across the plate. The Mets, for their part, were able to take a 12-11 lead in the top of the ninth, but Pederson drove in the tying run in the bottom half for his eighth RBI. The Giants then won on a Brandon Crawford single that plated Darin Ruf.
Pederson, 30 years old, entered Tuesday night's game batting .229/.296/.479 (119 OPS+) on the season with seven home runs and three additional extra-base hits. Giants manager Gabe Kapler had micromanaged Pederson's plate appearances, to the extent that more than 90 percent of his trips to the plate to date had come against right-handed pitchers; that is and remains a wise decision, based on Pederson's historical platoon splits.
Prior to Pederson's big outing, the four batters who had homered three times apiece in a game were Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays), Anthony Rizzo (Yankees), Trevor Story (Red Sox), and Josh Rojas (Diamondbacks). Story and Rojas each notched a hat trick within the past week, meaning three of the season's five three-homer games have occurred within seven days.