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Being mentioned in the same breath as Babe Ruth means you’ve accomplished something remarkable on the baseball field.

For Cincinnati Reds do-it-all player Michael Lorenzen, it meant equaling a feat that only the Babe himself had accomplished during a game with the New York Yankees back on June 13, 1921.

Channeling Babe Ruth
In Wednesday’s 8-5 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, Lorenzen joined Ruth as the only two players in MLB history to earn the win as a pitcher, hit a home run and play a position in the field during the same game.

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Michael Lorenzen of the @Reds is the first player to earn the win, hit a home run and play in the field in the same game since the Yankees’ Babe Ruth on 6/13/1921.#BornToBaseball

9:49 AM – Sep 5, 2019
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Lorenzen first entered the game as a pitcher in the seventh inning. He was actually charged with a blown save after allowing a game-tying home run to Jay Bruce, but was put in line to win after Jose Iglesias homered a half-inning later.

In the eighth inning, Lorenzen pitched a scoreless frame before padding Cincinnati’s lead with a two-run home run against veteran reliever Blake Parker.

Though it was Lorenzen’s first home run in this season, it was far from a surprise to see him go yard. In fact, Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman even predicted Lorenzen was due for a home run.

In 31 at-bats last season, Lorenzen hit four home runs. For his career, he now has eight.

As he’s frequently done this season, Reds manager David Bell moved Lorenzen to the outfield as a defensive upgrade after his pitching stint was over. Lorenzen played the entire ninth inning in center field as closer Raisel Iglesias secured the save and his place in history.

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National League’s best kept secret
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen is now in the same company as Babe Ruth after historic all-around performance against the Philadelphia Phillies. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen is now in the same company as Babe Ruth after historic all-around performance against the Philadelphia Phillies. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
While Shohei Ohtani has received endless hype as a two-way star in the American League, Michael Lorenzen has been carving out a similar role in the National League to much less fanfare over the last two seasons.

Granted, Lorenzen’s skills as both a pitcher and hitter might not be considered elite like Ohtani’s are when he’s at full strength. Yet still, Lorenzen is putting his own spin on it by actually playing a position other than pitcher in the field. That’s something Ohtani has not yet done, and might never do after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

It takes unique talent and undeniable dedication to excel in what is essentially three different roles when you add playing the outfield into the mix. That Lorenzen is now trusted to do so regularly confirms he is talented enough and is dedicated to making it work.

That he made history in the process is just icing on the cake.

Any time a baseball player can get his name in the same sentence as Babe Ruth, he must be doing something right.

Cincinnati Reds player Michael Lorenzen managed to do so on Wednesday by pulling off a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the Yankees legend did it nearly one century ago.

In an 8-5 victory over the Phillies, Lorenzen earned the win, hit a home run and played a position in the field, making him the first MLB player to do so since Ruth did on June 13, 1921.

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Lorenzen entered the game in relief in the top of the seventh inning, and he allowed a game-tying home run to Jay Bruce, knotting the game at 5-5. He finished the inning, then stayed in to toss a perfect eighth inning.

When Lorenzen’s spot in the order came up in the bottom of the eighth inning, he launched a two-run home run to left-center field, giving the Reds their 8-5 advantage after Jose Iglesias hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.

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When Raisel Iglesias entered to close the game in the ninth inning, Lorenzen shifted to center field, where he finished the game.

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Lorenzen’s feat isn’t all too shocking, since he’s been used in center field as a defensive replacement after pitching at other times this season, and he has a track record of power at the plate.

He didn’t have any home runs this season prior to Wednesday, but he connected on four long balls in 31 at bats last season. He now has eight home runs in his career.

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