Aquino hit three homers in his 10th career big-league game.
Rookie Aristides Aquino isn’t keeping mementos from his prodigious power display, the one reminding everyone of another Reds outfielder who wore No. 44 and slashed homers with a whiplash swing.
After taking so long to get this far, the thrills are enough.
Aquino homered in his first three at-bats, tied a major league record for homers by a newcomer, and matched Eric Davis’ rookie mark Saturday night during a 10-1 victory over the mesmerized Chicago Cubs, who have watched him wallop everything thrown his way. He also was half of history when Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez also hit three home runs in their 23-2 rout over the Orioles, making the duo the first rookies ever to smack three dingers on the same day.
“Is it him or is it Eric Davis?” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I don’t know. Same number. He used to do that kind of stuff. Give him credit. He didn’t miss anything. He hasn’t missed anything this series.”
The 25-year-old outfielder got his chance when fan favorite Yasiel Puig was traded to the Indians on July 31. He’s become an overnight sensation in Cincinnati.
“I could go on and on about him,” manager David Bell said. “We knew he’d have success, but not like this.”
Aquino connected in the second and third innings off Kyle Hendricks (8-9) and again in the fourth off Dillon Maples, becoming the first major league rookie to homer in three consecutive innings in one game. His seven homers in his first major league 10 games ties Trevor Story’s record with the Rockies in 2016.
And that’s not all.
He joined Davis — the Reds’ center fielder on their 1990 World Series title team — as the only Cincinnati rookies to homer in four straight games. Davis did it in 1984.
“I’m enjoying the moment,” Aquino said.
So are Reds fans who have a new, unexpected rooting interest. Aquino spent six years at rookie or Single-A ball struggling to hit, but a change that opened his stance helped him become an International League All-Star in line for his promotion.
His third homer brought a curtain call and a standing ovation when he returned to the field. The 39,866 fans had one of the most revered records in mind in his last two plate appearances.