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Ask sports: How often has a major leaguer hit 3 home runs in a game?

Former Royal John Buck hit three home runs in a game this week. Just how often has that occurred?

It's uncommon to see, but not nearly as rare as a no-hitter, triple play or of course a four-home run game.

Buck's three-homer performance Thursday against Oakland was the first in the major leagues this season.

The Toronto catcher went deep in three consecutive at-bats to become the 344th player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a game.

Many players have done that more than once, so Buck's performance was actually the 491st in history.

Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa hit three home runs on six occasions, with three of Sosa's coming over a six-week period in 2001.

Buck's game was the first since Toronto's Adam Lind hit three Sept. 29, 2009. There were seven instances last season.

Fifteen players have had four-home run games, with the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado being the most recent in September 2003.

There have been eight three-home run games in Royals history: George Brett (three times), John Mayberry (twice), Tony Solaita, Bo Jackson and Danny Tartabull.

Tartabull's effort in 1991 is the most recent.

In seven major-league seasons Buck has hit 74 home runs, all but four of which came as a Royal.

_Joshua Wood