ARLINGTON -- With apologies to Rocky Colavito, Lonnie Chisenhall turned in arguably the greatest offensive performance in Indians history on Monday. In fact, it was one of the more historic nights in baseball's long, storied annals.
In a 17-7 romp over the Rangers, Chisenhall powered Cleveland's offense with three home runs, five hits and nine RBIs. He drove in at least one run in each of his at-bats and ended the evening in select company in terms of the specific nature of his performance.
"I'm enjoying it as much as I can," Chisenhall said. "I don't know the history of it -- who's done it in the past. They told me it's a short list and I'm proud to be any part of a short list."
With his incredible showing, the 25-year-old Chisenhall became the first Major League player in at least the past 100 years to collect at least three home runs, five hits and nine RBIs without recording an out. Cleveland's corner infielder is only the fourth hitter to have at least that many homers, hits and RBIs in a single game.
The three others to accomplish the feat include Boston's Fred Lynn (June 18, 1975), Brooklyn's Gil Hodges (Aug. 31, 1950) and Cincinnati's Walker Cooper (July 6, 1949).
Against Texas starter Nick Martinez, who lasted only two innings, Chisenhall collected an RBI single in the first and a two-run home run in the second. Chisenhall then victimized Rangers right-hander Scott Baker with a two-run homer in the fourth, a run-scoring double in the sixth and a three-run home run in the eighth.
"I guess he figured it out -- at least he figured it out against us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Chisenhall. "He just wasn't missing. Breaking balls, fastballs, it didn't matter. He wasn't missing. Sometimes when you're a hitter, and you're a good hitter, you get locked in. And he was locked in."
Chisenhall became the first Indians batter to turn in a three-homer game since Shin-Soo Choo -- now with Texas -- achieved the feat on Sept. 17, 2010. Monday's performance marked only the 32nd time that a Cleveland batter launched at least three long balls in a single game.
Colavito boasts the franchise record of four home runs. The Indians great belted four blasts in four at-bats against Baltimore on June 10, 1959. In that game, which is widely regarded among Tribe fans as the greatest game by a Cleveland batter, Colavito ended with five runs scored and six RBIs.
Chisenhall's nine RBIs matched a club record, which was first set by Chris James against Oakland on May 4, 1991. On a grander scale, Chisenhall became the first Major League hitter with at least nine RBIs since Carlos Delgado did so with the Mets on June 27, 2008. Garrett Anderson of the Angels was the last to accomplish the feat in the American League (Aug. 21, 2007).
"Stating the obvious, that's a huge night," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
This marked just the 15th time in at least the past 100 years that a Major League player had at least three home runs and nine RBIs in a single game. Prior to Chisenhall, Alex Rodriguez was the last Major Leaguer to enjoy that type of showing, accomplishing the feat on April 26, 2005 with the Yankees.
Chisenhall laughed when asked if he had ever hit three home runs in a game.
"Some time in high school," he said. "It's a rare feat. I'm happy to have accomplished it. I know a day like today is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I'm just so happy."
During the sixth inning, when the game entered in a delay after home-plate umpire Jim Wolf was struck in the mask by a foul ball, Chisenhall was feeling so good that he began dancing to the in-stadium music. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis joined in, drawing some laughs from teammates in the visiting dugout.
"As hard as it is to beat those dance moves," Kipnis said, "his swing was prettier."
Asked about that part of his performance, Chisenhall cracked a grin.
"A lot of strange things happened out there tonight," he replied.