When it comes to this franchise's historical statistics, the Montreal Expos still exist. Before Adam Dunn went deep three times Wednesday night for the Washington Nationals in a game against the San Diego Padres, Alfonso Soriano was the only other National to hit 3 HR's in one game in the Nats' history, a feat he accomplished in his 16th game with DC in 2006 when the then-30-year-old outfielder took Atlanta Braves' right-hander and future Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz deep twice for solo shots in the first and third and then hit a third HR, a three-run blast, off Braves' reliever Oscar Villareal in the eighth inning of an April 21st, 2006 7-3 Nats' win in homer-hating RFK Stadium. Soriano ended that day 4 for 5 with 5 RBI's.
Nineteen years earlier on May 4, 1987, Montreal Expos' third baseman Tim Wallach, who was often compared to Brooks Robinson much like current Nats' third baseman Ryan Zimmeman, hit a two-run first-inning blast off Braves' starter David Palmer, an Expos' Draft pick from the 21st Round of the 1976 Draft who left Montreal to sign with Atlanta in 1986. The then 29-year-old Wallach's second HR was a solo shot off Palmer in the fifth and his third HR was off Atlanta reliever Jim Acker in the ninth, a two-run HR that got the Expos within three runs of the Braves in a 10-7 loss. Wallach finished the game 3 for 4 with 3 HR's and 6 RBI's. Two years before Wallach launched three it was newly-elected Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson, then 30, who launched three in the same game.
On September 24, 1985, Dawson, an 11th Round pick by the Expos in 1976, hit two HR's off Chicago Cubs' left-hander Ray Fontenot, a two-run blast in the first inning and then a three-run HR in the fifth, taking Fontenot deep for the second time after back-to-back singles by the Expos started the frame. Dawson then launched a second three-run blast in the same (fifth) inning off Chicago's right-handed reliever Jon Perlman in what ends up a 12-run fifth inning on the road for the Expos in Wrigley. Dawson ends the game 4 for 6 with 8 RBI's.
25 years after Dawson, Adam Dunn, who is also 30-years-old when he does it, hits 3 HR's off the San Diego Padres, taking right-hander Jon Garland deep in the first and third for a 3-run blast and solo shot, and then hitting the first HR of the year surrendered by San Diego reliever Joe Thatcher in the eighth for Dunn's third HR and what ends up the winning run in a 7-6 Nationals victory. Dunn ends the game 3 for 4 with 5 RBI's.
Alfonso Soriano left the Nationals the year after his 3-HR game, after just one year with the franchise. Andre Dawson played one more season for Montreal after his 3-HR game, then left for Chicago. Tim Wallach played 5 more seasons with the Expos before leaving for LA. Adam Dunn's future with the franchise is uncertain. The Nats should know within a month what the future holds for the fourth player in franchise history to hit 3 HR's in one game...