BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

By Bill Arnold and Rick Wacha

SUMMERTIME TREAT

Jonathan Villar became the latest batter to complete a cycle in the majors. The Baltimore Orioles’ infielder garnered a single, double, triple and home run in a game against the visiting New York Yankees on Monday. It was just the 297th cycle to be hit in the majors since 1901. It was also the first for the “Birds” since Felix Pie recorded one in 2009. Villar’s masterful hitting was just the 10th recorded by the franchise, which dates back to 1901. The Pittsburgh Pirates lead all teams with 24 cycles since 1901, which is followed by the San Francisco Giants’ 21. The only team that has never had a player hit for the cycle is the Miami Marlins. Since the team’s 1993 inception, 238 Marlin batters have proceeded to hit for three-fourths of a cycle but have fallen one leg shy of the treasure. The team has waited more than 26 years for a player to record the singularity. The Cincinnati Reds have gone more than 30 years without a cycle, the longest active streak in the majors. Villar’s feat is the fifth cycle to be recorded this season. The record for most cycles in a year is eight, set in 1933 and matched in 2009.

The chart shows the length of time a franchise’s last cycle and the one previously recorded (* – postseason; length is measured in years and days):

American League

Team # Recent Cyclist (Year) Previous Cyclist (Year) Length
Orioles 10 Jonathan Villar (2019) Felix Pie (2009) 9.356
Red Sox 22 Brock Holt* (2018) Mookie Betts (2018) 0.060
White Sox 6 Jose Abreu (2017) Jose Valentin (2000) 17.135
Indians 9 Jake Bauers (2019) Rajai Davis (2016) 2.362
Tigers 10 Carlos Guillen (2006) Damion Easley (2001) 5.054
Astros 8 Brandon Barnes (2013) Luke Scott (2006) 6.356
Royals 6 George Brett (1990) Frank White (1982) 7.356
Angels 8 Shohei Ohtani (2019) Mike Trout (2013) 6.031
Twins 15 15 Jorge Polanco (2019) Michael Cuddyer(2009) 9.318
Yankees 15 Melky Cabrera (2009) Tony Fernandez(1995) 13.333
A’s 17 Mark Ellis (2007) Eric Byrnes (2003) 3.340
Mariners 4 Adrian Beltre (2008) John Olerud (2001) 7.077
Rays 2 Evan Longoria (2017) B.J. Upton (2009) 7.303
Rangers 14 Carlos Gomez (2017) Adrian Beltre (2015) 1.269
BlueJays 2 Jeff Frye (2001) Kelly Gruber (1989) 12.123

National League

Team # Recent Cyclist (Year) Previous Cyclist (Year) Length
D’backs 6 Aaron Hill(2012) Aaron Hill (2012) 0.011
Cubs 8 Mark Grace (1993) Andre Dawson (1987) 6.010
Reds 5 Eric Davis (1989) Frank Robinson (1959) 30.031
Rockies 9 Charlie Blackmon (2018) Nolan Arenado (2017) 1.104
Dodgers 9 Cody Bellinger (2017) Orlando Hudson (2009) 8.093
Marlins 0 None None 26.129
Brewers 9 Christian Yelich (2018) Christian Yelich (2018) 0.019
Mets 10 Scott Hairston (2012) Jose Reyes (2006) 5.312
Phillies 6 David Bell (2004) Gregg Jefferies (1995) 8.308
Pirates 24 John Jaso (2016) Daryle Ward (2004) 12.125
Padres 2 Wil Myers (2017) Matt Kemp (2015) 1.239
Giants 21 Pablo Sandoval (2011) Fred Lewis (2007) 4.126
Cardinals 16 Mark Grudzielanek (2005) John Mabry (1996) 8.344
Nationals 10 Trea Turner (2019) Trea Turner (2017) 2.089

AROUND THE HORN

… On Tuesday the Cardinals called up reliever Junior Fernandez to the show; when the rookie right-hander makes his debut in the bigs, he’ll join Junior Kennedy (1974-83), Junior Felix (1989-94), Junior Lake (2013-16) and Junior Guerra (2015-present) as the only players with a given name of “Junior” to see action in the majors.

… Switch-hitters Eduardo Escobar (10 as a right-handed batter/15 as a left-handed batter) and Ketel Marte (12/12) of the Diamondbacks are the first ever pair N.L. teammates to produce at least 10 home runs from each side of the plate in a season; the last A.L. teammates to turn the trick were Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez of the Indians in 2017.

… The Braves lead the majors in hitting back-to-back home runs with 12; the Dodgers and Twins are next with 10.

… The six no-hit innings by the Astros’ Aaron Sanchez, which were part of the team’s combined no-hitter against the visiting Mariners on August 3, allowed the right-hander to become the first pitcher since Greg Maddux (2006 for the Dodgers)to throw six no-hit innings in their first start after being traded; Sanchez was acquired by the team from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline.

… The A’s lead the majors with the best record on Tuesdays; the team improved to 14-4 (.778 winning percentage) after defeating the host Cubs 11-4 on Tuesday.

… Former Arizona State Sun Devils’ pitchers Merrill Kelly and recently acquired Mike Leake made successive starts for the Diamondbacks on Monday and Tuesday (both against the visiting Phillies); it marked the first time that a pair of Sun Devil pitchers started consecutive games since the Rangers used ASU alums John Poloni and Jim Umbarger to make back-to-back starts against the visiting A’s on Oct. 1-2, 1977.

… The Mariners have already used 61 players this season, which is just three players from the major-league record for most players used in a season (64) that was set by the 2014 Rangers.

… On Monday Aaron Civale joined Luis Tiant (1964) as the only Indian rookie pitchers to throw six or more innings, allow one or fewer runs and strikeout at least six batters in their first two major-league starts.

… Not surprisingly the Orioles lead the majors in the most two-out runs given up with 286; the Braves lead the N.L. with 249.

… Giant pitchers threw 241 pitches while facing 41 National batters on Monday night in San Francisco; according to baseball stat whiz David Feldman – that is the most pitches ever thrown by a team when facing 41 or fewer batters in a game since reliable pitch counting began in 1988.

Bo Bichette, the son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, has recorded the third longest hitting streak (11 straight games) by a player 21 years old or younger to begin a career; the two players ahead of Blue Jay are Rocco Baldelli (13 straight games in 2003) followed by Eddie Murphy (12 straight in 1912).

Nelson Cruz has slugged 16 home runs and 30 RBIs since the All-Star Break; the Twins’ 39-year-old designated hitter has had a two-homer game, two three-homer games, a four-RBI game and three five-RBI games since July 12.

Mike Trout turned 28 on Wednesday, and he’s hit four long balls during his career on his special day, but the Angels enjoyed a scheduled off day this season; therefore, the center fielder won’t be able to tie Todd Helton, Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds Alex Rodriguez and Al Simmons for most home runs recorded on their respective birthdays with five.

… The Astros are on pace to win 100 or more games for the third consecutive season; if the team does crack the century mark, then they would join the 2002-04 Yankees, the 1997-99 Braves, the 1969-71 Orioles, the 1942-44 Cardinals and the 1929-31 A’s as the only teams in major league baseball history since 1900 to register at least 100 wins in three consecutive seasons.

Fernando Tatis Jr. joined fellow rookie shortstops Ron Hansen (22 home runs in 1960), Cal Ripken Jr. (20-1982), Nomar Garciaparra (30-1997), Bobby Crosby (22-2004), Troy Tulowitzki (24-2007), Carlos Correa (22-2015), Corey Seager (26-2016), Trevor Story (27-2016) and Paul DeJong (20-2017) to hit 20 home runs in a season; the Padre shortstop popped his 20th of the season on Tuesday night against the host Mariners.

… Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., with 30 home runs and 26 stolen bases, is trying to join Mike Trout as the only players aged 21 or younger to record a 30/30 season; Trout had 30 homers and 49 stolen bases at age 20 in 2012.

… The Twins turned their second triple play of the season on Wednesday and starter Martin Perez became the first A.L. pitcher since Mark Buehrle (2006-White Sox) to be on the mound when their teams turned multiple triple plays in the same season.

… After striking out 13 Angels on Thursday, Red Sox’ starter Chris Sale broke his tie with Gerrit Cole of the Astros for most games this season with 10 or more whiffs; Sale has recorded 13 to Cole’s 12.

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