CLEVELAND (MCT) — Dan Johnson broke out in a big smile Wednesday night after being reminded of his heroics in the 2011 regular season finale with Tampa Bay, where he hit a home run that helped vault the Rays into the playoffs and knock out Boston.
Johnson said he was reminded of that feat after hitting his first of three home runs Wednesday night that allowed the Sox to cruise to a 9-0 victory at Cleveland in their regular season finale.
But Johnson, who was harnessed at Triple-A Charlotte despite hitting 28 home runs and 85 RBIs, made the most of his moment. Those three home runs were his first three with the Sox.
"You have to play every at-bat like it’s your last, and I really have something to prove," Johnson said. "I went out there today and gave it everything I had. I was fortunate enough to get three big hits for me."
Johnson is arbitration eligible, so the Sox have the option of tendering him a contract for 2013 or allowing him to become a free agent.
But he became part of history.
Johnson became the first player to hit three home runs against Cleveland since Paul Konerko on July 7, 2009, at U.S. Cellular Field. He became the fourth visiting player to hit three home runs in a game at Progressive Field, joining Bobby Higginson and Carlos Pena of Detroit and Larry Walker of Colorado.
This marked the 15th time in Sox history that a player hit at least three home runs in a game. The last Sox player to hit three home runs in a game was Carlos Quentin on May 24, 2011, at Texas.
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