(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez jokingly told his mother before Game Five against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday that he would hit a home run.
He ended up hitting three.
After the Dodgers had dispatched the Cubs 11-1 to win National League Championship series 4-1 and advance to the World Series, Hernandez revealed that his mother at home in Puerto Rico had watched the game on a television powered by a generator.
Much of the Caribbean island is still without power after being devastated by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20.
Hernandez spoke to his mother just before the game and asked her if she planned to watch.
“She said, ‘yes, I’m going to go to your grandparents, they’ve got the generator on,’” a smiling Hernandez said in an on-field interview.
“I said ‘make sure you get there before the game starts because I’m going to hit a homer.’”
Hernandez, 26, was only joking, and he displayed unabashed glee with each towering strike over the famous ivy wall at Wrigley Field, including a grand slam in the third inning that busted the game open.
His three homers matched the most in a postseason game in major league history. He is the 10th player to accomplish the feat.
“I’ve never hit three homers in my life in one game, so to do it on a stage like this is amazing,” he said.
“For everything that’s going on back home, to give people in Puerto Rico a little bit to cheer about it’s awesome. It’s hard being here when your mind’s over there and your hearts over there but we’ve got a job to do.”
San Juan-born Hernandez, in his third season with the Dodgers, also revealed that his grand slam homer had been an accident, sort of. He was just trying to hit a sacrifice fly to bring in a run.
“I think I’ll take the grand slam over the sac fly,” he joked.
“I don’t remember much of this game and I definitely don’t remember anything of the third homer. It’s pretty emotional to do what we did to the reigning world champs at their stadium.
“I’ve never done so many interviews in my life. I didn’t know my English was this extensive.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty