Oneil Cruz Mashes Two Hardest-Hit Balls of the MLB Season in One Game

Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz hits a single against the Giants during the first inning at PNC Park.
Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz hits a single against the Giants during the first inning at PNC Park. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oneil Cruz clobbered a record-setting base hit in the first inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 7–6 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

Eight innings later, he did it again.

Cruz's base knock in the first—a rope down the first-base line—was the hardest hit of the 2024 MLB season, measured at an exit velocity of 120.4 mph. It narrowly unseated New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton's 119.9-mph hit earlier this year.

Later in the game, Cruz strolled up to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning. The Pirates trailed the Giants 6–5. Cruz, facing San Francisco's flame-throwing closer Camilo Doval, swatted another base hit down the first-base line. It brought home the game-tying run and was clocked at 121.5 mph, breaking the season record Cruz set in the first inning.

Cruz went 3-for-5 on Tuesday night, adding a double in the third inning that came off his bat at 116.3 mph. The Pirates went on to beat the Giants 7–6 on Nick Gonzales's walk-off single in the 10th inning.

Cruz is the first player in MLB history to crush two balls at least 120 mph in the same game. He's also the first player to have three hits over 115 mph in one game.

The 25-year-old Cruz now owns the top two hardest-hit balls of the 2024 season and three of the top four, as he mashed one 119.7 mph earlier this season. Cruz also owns the hardest-hit ball of the Statcast era (since 2015), a 122.4 mph rope back in August 2022 that he hit off the outfield wall so hard he was held to just a single.

The 6'7" shortstop is must-watch television every time he digs into the batter's box.


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.