KANSAS CITY — The Royals have a new single-season home run record holder.
Designated hitter Jorge Soler pounded a fastball from Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris into the left-field seats, a three-run blast in the third inning that was his 39th this season. The Royals went on to a 6-5 win on pinch-hitter Ryan O’Hearn’s one-out walk-off homer in the ninth inning in the series opener on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
That homer, on a 2-2 count, moved Soler past former Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who in 2017 hit 38 homers to break Steve Balboni’s 32-year-old record of 36 in 1985.
Soler’s jack off Norris was projected by Statcast to travel 431 feet at 104 mph.
Soler’s breakthrough season has been remarkable. Acquired from the Cubs for closer Wade Davis at the 2016 Winter Meetings, Soler has endured two injured-filled seasons.
But healthy this season, Soler has displayed the type of power and run production the Royals envisioned when they acquired him. His 39th home run also pushed him to 100 RBIs this season.