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J.D. Martinez mashes his way to a four-homer game

J.D. Martinez became the 18th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a game. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Major league players have done a lot of crazy homer-related things this season. J.D. Martinez added to the list Monday night, becoming the 18th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a game.

Martinez is the second player with four homers in a game this season, joining Scooter Gennett. This is just the second season in major league history with multiple four-homer games (2002: Shawn Green and Mike Cameron).

Martinez's actions powered the Arizona Diamondbacks to their 11th-straight win, one shy of their franchise record set in June 2003.

Loving life as a D-back

Martinez was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a midseason trade. Since making his debut with Arizona on July 19, he has 18 home runs and 40 RBIs.

In that span, the only player with more home runs in the majors is Giancarlo Stanton (24). The only players with more RBIs are Stanton (49) and Jonathan Schoop (44).

Martinez was brought to Arizona to help improve the team's performance against left-handed pitching. However, since joining the Diamondbacks, 14 of his 18 homers have come against right-handed pitchers.

Historical context

As noted in the graphic above, four-homer games are among the rarest of rare baseball feats. There have been fewer four-homer games than there have been perfect games.

Martinez made a rare feat even more unlikely by doing damage against several different pitchers.

He became the third player in major league history with four home runs in a game coming against four different pitchers, joining Joe Adcock (1954) and Gil Hodges (1950). Two of those games have come against the Dodgers, including Martinez's outing on Monday.

Martinez is in another group of three when it comes to four-homer games. He is the third player in MLB history with a four-homer game after playing games for another team earlier in the season (Pat Seerey in 1948 and Chuck Klein in 1936).

Three of Martinez's home runs came in the last three innings of Monday's game, which puts him in a group of his own. He is the first player in the modern era to hit a homer in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning of the same game.

The team Martinez plays for factors into this game's rarity, as well. The Diamondbacks are the only team in MLB history to have the following individual performances: a 20-strikeout game (in nine innings), a perfect game and a four-homer game.

Randy Johnson had a 20-strikeout game in 2001 and a perfect game for Arizona in 2004. This is the team's 20th season.

The year of the home run

Martinez's fourth home run of the evening was the last of the day in the majors and the 5,240th of the season. The league is on pace to set the record for most home runs in a season in mid-September.

There have been 2.54 home runs per game this season, which would shatter the record of 2.34 set in 2000.

Along with yielding two four-homer games, this season might also produce a 60-homer season, as Giancarlo Stanton has 53 home runs with roughly a month left in the season. That total has not been reached since Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa did so in 2001.

To top it off, there have been 219 players with at least 10 homers this season. That's already a major league record, and it was also set on Monday.