Boston Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi made the wrong kind of history in his start on Tuesday night against the Houston Astros by tying Major League Baseball’s record for the most home runs ever allowed in a single inning with five (GameTracker). Eovaldi, who entered the second inning with a 1-0 lead, was removed before he could complete the frame. By the time reliever Tyler Danish trotted to the mound, the Astros were ahead by a 9-1 margin and five baseballs went over the Fenway Park fence.
Eovaldi is the third pitcher to ever allow five home runs in a single inning, according to the research conducted by MLB.com’s Sarah Langs. He joins a select class that includes Chase Anderson and Michael Blazek. Anderson gave up his five home runs in the fourth inning of a September 2020 contest; Blazek, conversely, surrendered his five-pack in the third inning of a July 2017 appearance.
The Astros, for their part, tied the MLB record for most home runs in one inning with their five long balls.
Eovaldi was a clear bright spot for the underperforming Red Sox entering the night. In his first seven starts this season, he had compiled a 3.15 ERA (126 ERA+) and a 6.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His final line on Tuesday — 1 2/3 innings pitched, eight hits, nine runs (six earned), and no strikeouts or walks — raised his seasonal ERA more than a full run, all the way up to 4.32.
For those wondering, Eovaldi’s outing is the 123rd in MLB history in which a pitcher yielded five or more home runs overall. Only nine games have seen a pitcher surrendered six home runs, with the most recent of those being Blazek’s aforementioned start. Eovaldi is the first Boston pitcher to give up at least five home runs since David Price in 2018.