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Elly De La Cruz Has Two-Way Two-Homer Night; First For a Red in 42 Years

 Leif Skodnick  |    Apr 9th, 2024 12:55pm EDT

Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds dives into home plate for an inside-the-park home run against William Contreras of the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Great American Ball Park on April 08, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz had a two-homer night on Monday and accomplished a rare feat with his pair of round-trippers.

His first home run, a fifth-inning solo shot, gave the Reds a 9-3 lead over Milwaukee, with the ball going 450 feet into the Queen City night and landing in the batter’s eye at Great American Ballpark after leaving De La Cruz’ bat at a velocity of 112.3 mph.

The other homer? It was quite different. His second homer left the bat at 86.5 mph and traveled 282 feet to dead center, where Brewers’ center fielder Sal Frelick nearly made a diving catch. With Frelick laying prone on the turf, the ball rolled past him to the warning track, where right fielder Jackson Chourio picked it up as De La Cruz was already rounding second. The relay from Chourio to second baseman Brice Turang to catcher William Contreras arrived high and late, allowing De La Cruz to slide head first and touch the plate for an inside-the-park homer.

Dan Driessen was the last Cincinnati Reds player to hit an inside-the-park homer and put one over the fence in the same game, doing so on May 31, 1982 in a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium.

Three other Reds have hit an inside-the-park homer and hit a ball over the fence in the same game. Ten years and one day prior to Driessen, Johnny Bench accomplished the feat in the Reds’ 9-5 win over the Astros at the Astrodome. On Sept. 11, 1963, Vada Pinson pulled it off against the Milwaukee Braves in a 14-3 win at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

The first Cincinnati player to hit an inside-the-park homer and put a ball over the wall for a homer in the same game was Joe Adcock, who did it on May 11, 1952 in an 8-5 win against the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis.