On this day in 1959 the first-place Milwaukee Braves routed the Giants in San Francisco, scoring five in the first inning en route to a 13-3 victory. Hank Aaron drove in the game's first runs with a two-run homer in the first inning.
The Braves were already up 7-1 in the sixth inning when Aaron came up for the fourth time in the game, and he hit another two-run home run to expand the lead. One inning later, he hit his third two-run home run of the game to increase the advantage to 13-1.
Aaron hit 755 home runs in the majors, a record that stood for decades. This, however, was his only three homer game in 23 major league seasons.
Aaron went on to lead the NL with 223 hits, a .636 slugging percentage and 1.037 OPS and won the batting title with a .355 average. He finished third in the league MVP voting, though, behind Cub Ernie Banks and teammate Eddie Mathews.
For the Braves, unfortunately, things went downhill from here. This win improved their record to 38-28 and gave them a 1.5 game lead on the field in the NL, but by July 4 they were in second place and would hold sole possession of first for just one more day the rest of the season. They lost to the Dodgers in 12 innings on the last day of the season with first place on the line.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1973-86 Brewer Charlie Moore, who turns 59. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1901 Milwaukee Brewer Billy Gilbert, who would have turned 136.