Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria became just the second player in franchise history to hit for the cycle, though with an assist coming from a review.
Hitting for the cycle is one of the hardest feats to accomplish in a baseball game and Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria became just the second player in team history to hit for the cycle with an assist coming from a crew-chief replay review in the 6-4 win over Houston.
After Monday’s lopsided 14-7 loss to Houston, the Rays needed to get a quick jump out of the gate and it began with Longoria’s first of four hits on the night and the first of the cycle when he launched his 17th home run of the season high and deep into the leftfield stands.
Longoria’s home run would give the Rays the early 2-0 lead and Logan Morrison would follow that up with a solo shot increasing the lead to 3-0, which extended the Rays franchise record and MLB best 12th back-to-back four-baggers this season.
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In his next at-bat in the third inning, Longoria hit a triple, which is the probably the hardest part of the cycle to get.
His three-bagger set the table for Adeiny Hechavarria who would single, sending Longoria across the plate for the Ray’s fourth run and the 766th of his career moving him past Carl Crawford for the most runs scored in franchise history.
Getting the home run and the triple out of the way, Longoria would now be faced with hitting a single and double to complete the task and so in the seventh inning, part three was reached when he singled and it was then that he began thinking about the cycle.
Needing the double to complete the feat, Longoria would have presumably the last chance when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning. With two outs, Longoria hit the ball into leftfield and doing his best Mallex Smith impression running the bases in full blast rounding first, he slide in second base meeting the tag only to be called out by second base umpire James Hoye.
However, a crew-chief review of the play overturned the on-field call and Longoria was awarded the double, earning the cycle and joining former teammate Melvin (B.J.) Upton as the only players to hit for the cycle.
“I definitely remember [Upton] doing it,” Longoria said. “It’s a tough thing to do, and I’m very proud, for sure.”