August 3, 1989: Ken Griffey Sr. grabbed a bat awaiting his next turn at the plate, enjoying his 2-2 day, with a HR and 4 RBIs. Not a bad day’s work. Griffey and the Reds put together an offensive explosion in the first inning of the game agasint Houston on August 3 that none of the 20,179 in attendance would soon forget. You can watch a lot of baseball games before you can see the home team score 14 runs in one inning. In fact, the 14 runs was a club record.
The afternoon started harmlessly enough with Tom Browning retiring the Astros in the top of the 1st. Astros starter Jim Clancy marched to the mound. Seven batters an d non outs later, whit his team down 5-0, Clancy marched off to the showers., replaced by Bob Forsch. With the game already out of hand, Forsch was on his own. After giving up a double to Ron Oester and a run scoring wild pitch, Forsch finally retired Browning for the first out. Finally, a hint of normalcy.
But it was an illusion. Forsch proceeded to give up 9 consecutive hits, before he retired Mariano Duncan and Luis Quinones for the final two outs.
Score: Reds 14 – Astros 0. the finally tally was Reds 18 – Astros 2; the Reds collected 26 hits.
The Reds set three major league records in the onslaught: Most hits in one inning (16), Most singles in one inning (12), Most players with 2 or more hits in one inning (7). The Reds tied two major league marks: Most players scoring two or more runs in one inning (6), Most players with three or more hits in one game (7).
The 14 run spree set teh Reds club record for most runs in one inning. the 26 hts were two shy of the modern club mark (since 1900).
The bottom third of the first took 38 minutes. The rest of the game took just one hour and 38 minutes.
Many high scoring innings are fueled by walks and errors. But the Astros committed no errors and Clancy and Forsch allowed just one walk. The Reds hardly tore the cover off the ball, chalking up just 3 extra base hits among their 16 hits. But it seemed like every ball had radar. Reds radar.
“The ball was falling as if it had eyes – 20/20 eyes, ” said Jeff Reed. “Everybody was up to the plate swinging because everything was fell in. Everybody was trying to grab bats at once.”
Reed, Todd Benzinger, and Rolando Roomes each would up with 4 hits. Griffey, Luis Quinones, Ron Oester, and Eric Davis had three hits. For the game, the Reds accumulated their 26 hits in 50 ABs, a .520 batting average.
All “Reds trivia” posts come from Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and are used with Greg’s permission.
Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.