The 5 Highest Scoring MLB Games of All Time

There have been plenty of exciting baseball games over the years, but which matches have seen the most runs?

Wrigley Field

Baseball can be a pedestrian game at times. Often, there is very little going on apart from the sound of ball-on-glove as pitchers hold the upper hand with their curveballs and sliders.

However, there are occasions when the scoring is so frequent that it is difficult to keep up and fans can then boast to their friends that they were there.

So here are the five highest-scoring games in MLB history, from fifth to top…

Cincinnati Reds 24 Colorado Rockies 12 – May 19, 1999

Both of these teams signalled their intentions early on as the Reds scored six times in the first innings while the Rockies ensured they didn’t have a mountain to climb for long as they got home four times before Cincinnati had another go.

The game was tied at 7-7 at the end of the third but that was when Cincinnati went into overdrive, hitting 17 runs before the end of the seventh to stretch away.

Outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds was the star of the show for the Reds as he hit three homers, and the Rockies were obviously impressed as they moved to sign him as a starter the following season after he had struggled to make a sustained impact in Ohio.

Boston Red Sox 19 Texas Rangers 17 – August 12, 2008

The Red Sox looked to be cruising after two homers from slugger David Ortiz helped them to a 10-0 lead against the Rangers at Fenway.

However, Texas did not lie down and produced an amazing comeback. They scored eight runs in the fifth and five in the sixth to take the lead 15-14, but they were unable to react when Kevin Youkilis tipped the balance back in the Red Sox’s favour with a three-run homer in the eighth for an epic victory.

Check out that blistering first-innings assault from Boston here.

New York Giants 25 Cincinnati Reds 13 – September 6, 1901

We have to delve right back in the history books to find the third-highest score and it came 56 years before the New York Giants moved to their current location across the other side of the country in San Francisco.

Few details exist regarding their meeting with Cincinnati 120 years ago, but it is safe to say the home fans were not enjoying their season much.

The Giants had a 52-85 record that season and averaged just 3.8 runs per game, a statistic that must have been distorted by their performance in this game, particularly as they hit just 19 home runs all season and were shut out on 15 occasions.

Some fans obviously made a bit of an error by not popping along that night.

Philadelphia Phillies 23 Chicago Cubs 22 – May 17, 1979

The unusual aspect of this game, which went to 10 innings, was that the Cubs were never in a leading position.

The Phillies were 7-6 ahead at the end of the first and then pushed on to lead 17-6 at the bottom of the fourth.

However, the Cubs were able to fight back to force extra innings after being 21-9 behind, but Mike Schmidt was on hand to hit the winning run for the Phillies in a match that produced 45 runs from 50 hits.

Chicago Cubs 26 Philadelphia Phillies 22 – August 22, 1922

By coincidence, the top-scoring game involved the same two teams at the same venue 57 years earlier.

This time it was the Cubs who took control, scoring 10 runs in the second innings and 14 in the fourth.

They were already celebrating victory when they were 26-9 ahead after seven but the Phillies made them sweat.

The visitors scored eight runs in the eighth inning and six in the ninth but they couldn’t quite get the job done.

There have also been plenty of high-scoring efforts in recent times. Check out some of them here.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post
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