Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen hitting a solo home run
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen hits a solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Hit a home run, play centre field and earn the win as a pitcher. How many players can you remember doing all three in a single game? All the two way players you have known are flashing in your mind but can’t remember anyone doing that? Well, there has been only one. And people who have witnessed that might not be alive now. Babe Ruth had achieved it back in 1921. After nearly a century, Michael Lorenzeno, on Wednesday managed to become the second ever player to hit a home run, play centre field and earn the win as a pitcher.

Lorenzen smacked his first homer of the season off a pitch from from Philadelphia Phillies reliever Blake Parker in the eighth inning. The monstrous two-run hit sealed an 8-5 win for Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Lorenzeno, who is known more for his abilities with the pitch in hand, had an opportunity with the bat in the hand and he proved his two-way abilities. Reds manager David Bell gave him an opportunity, which he eventually felt was “fun.”

“To give him the opportunity there was fun,” Bell said. “He has the confidence that he can step in and do it. But the big thing is he keeps working at [hitting], even when he wasn’t getting opportunities throughout the middle of the year. We were leaning on him as a pitcher, and he wasn’t getting the other opportunities. He kept working on it and he stayed with it. He just kept himself prepared.”

For 27-year old Lorenzen, it seemed a “funny” stat, though he felt honoured to be in it.

“To me it’s just a funny little stat, like a baseball stat,” he said. “I’m not too into the statistics like that, but I know for a lot of people it means a lot. It’s cool for a lot of other people.

“I’m definitely honored to be a part of that. I wouldn’t be able to be a part of that if it wasn’t for David Bell being open-minded.”

“It always seems like when I don’t pitch as well and I hit, I seem to hit better,” Lorenzen said. “I wish I could change that. Thankfully I didn’t have to pitch after I hit the home run.”

Before Lorenzeno’s 387-foot 2-run homer extended their lead, José Iglesias had hit one in the seventh inning that put them on the front-foot.

“He was getting the night off from starting, just given our schedule recently and the position he plays,” Bell said. “But he was ready, and that was the one opportunity right there we were looking to use him in — off a left-hander. He went out and did it. Michael’s home run was really important to add on, but Iggy’s, that was big. He loves being up in those spots.”