Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts hit for the cycle with a single, double, triple and home run against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Is there anything that Mookie Betts can’t do? The superstar outfielder for the Boston Red Sox checked another box on his list of accomplishments by hitting for the cycle on Thursday.
Betts is the 21st player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. The last Red Sox hitter to do it was Brock Holt in 2015. Betts is only the third leadoff hitter in franchise history to accomplish this statistical masterpiece, joining Holt and Leon Culberson.
"“That’s my one thing. Mookie had to take it from me,” Holt joked to reporters after the game."
Betts reached base in all five plate appearances with a single, double, triple, home run, plus a walk he threw in for good measure. He raised his league-leading batting average to .347 and OPS to 1.103. A pair of runs scored brought his season total to 95, four behind league-leader Francisco Lindor. Betts also added his 59th RBI, which trails only Lindor among leadoff hitters.
The night started out innocently enough with a base hit to lead off the game in the first inning. Betts would come around to score on a two-run base hit by Eduardo Nunez to give the Red Sox an early lead.
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When Betts came to the plate again in the second inning he roped a triple to deep center field. Every pitch he saw from Jays starter Ryan Borucki in that plate appearance was a sinker low in the zone. The fifth pitch was left up just a little too high, right in Mookie’s wheelhouse. The amazing part was that Betts didn’t even seem to turn on the jets until he was heading to second base yet still made it to third easily. Andrew Benintendi would follow with a ground out to first base to end the inning, leaving Betts stranded.
Betts doubled in the fourth inning on a slider that caught a bit too much of the plate. Benintendi once again grounded out to first to end the inning. By this point, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello had begun to unravel. Boston trailed 4-2 and could have used another run to shift momentum in their favor. Betts did his part but nobody could get on in front of him and Benny couldn’t drive him home.
That’s not a trend that changed in the sixth inning. Betts fell behind in the count after a couple of quick strikes but he battled back to draw a walk with two outs in the inning. Stop me if you’ve heard this before – Benintendi grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Betts would only get one more chance and this time he wasn’t messing around. Boston desperately needed runs in the ninth inning so Betts took it upon himself to spark a comeback. He blasted a home run to left on a high slider from Blue Jays closer Ken Giles to complete the cycle.
The Red Sox would ultimately fall short when Giles struck out Benintendi and Mitch Moreland to end the game.
It’s not the thrilling ending we hoped for but does it even matter? When we look back at this season in which the Red Sox will win 100+ games, nobody will remember one loss in Toronto. We will always remember Betts hitting for the cycle. That’s not something that happens often so this bit of history will stay with us long after we shake off one loss.