Bang, bang! Pair of 1st-pitch HRs for 1st time in decades

National Sports

New York Mets’ Jonathan Villar celebrates a home run in front of Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK (AP) — Miami Marlins leadoff batter Miguel Rojas and New York Mets counterpart Jonathan Villar each homered on the first pitch they saw Thursday night, the first time that’s happened in a major league game since at least 1985, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Statisticians at Elias were unable to go back any further with certainty because prior pitch-count records aren’t precise.

Rojas launched the first pitch of the game a projected 401 feet into the left-field stands, connecting on a fastball from Mets starter Carlos Carrasco before many fans at Citi Field even settled into their seats. It was Rojas’ third leadoff home run this season and eighth overall.

With the Marlins up 2-0 entering the bottom of the first inning, Villar responded by clobbering Sandy Alcantara’s first-pitch heater 431 feet into the seats above New York’s bullpen in right-center for his 17th home run of the season. It was Villar’s eighth career leadoff shot and first this year.

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