Houston Astros third baseman Chris Johnson called it the best game of his professional career, and it's hard to argue with that.
Johnson went off Wednesday, homering twice as part of a 4-for-4 day, ending a homerless drought that went back 104 at-bats to last year.
Johnson hit a three-run shot off New York Mets rookie Chris Schwinden in the second inning and a two-run blast the next inning, the latter traveling 414 feet to left-center. By game's end, he would add an RBI single to help the Astros to an 8-1 victory over the Mets and a sweep of the three-game series.
It was the first multi-homer game of Johnson's career, and he doubled his previous career high of three RBI. There was definitely some frustration building in the 86 homerless at-bats of 2012 that followed a terrific spring.
"My average was all right," said Johnson, a .279 hitter before the game and a .311 hitter coming out. "It was just looking up and seeing that zero in that (homer) column, especially for a guy at third base who's supposed to drive in runs and hit for power. The power was there in spring training, so it was a little bit frustrating, but there was no panic. It was just working on my approach mainly."
And his teammates were starting to take some lighthearted notice, too.
"He's a guy that needs to hit homers," leadoff man Jordan Schafer said. "It's just when I'm not supposed to hit homers and I have more than him, I'm going to give him a hard time about it."
The two are now tied, to Johnson's relief. And the Astros are hoping that with those blasts on the board, Johnson can take off in that phase of the game, which is what got him to the big leagues in the first place.