Seven thousand four hundred and forty-three games came and went before a Padres player hit for the cycle. San Diego had to wait only 215 more for a repeat.In the top of the eighth Monday at Coors Field, Padres first baseman Wil Myers sent a line drive into the gap in left-center, rounded first base, dashed past second and wound up at third to complete the second cycle in franchise history. The final score — Padres 5, Rockies 3 — went down as a footnote.
The parallels between the Padres’ first and latest cycle were stunning.
On Aug. 14, 2015, also here in Denver, outfielder Matt Kemp tripled in the ninth for the first cycle of his career, making Padres history in the process.
Monday’s cycle was the first of Myers’ career, achieved in the Padres’ first game against former manager Bud Black, who, like so many before him, never saw the feat during his San Diego tenure. He was fired two months before Kemp slid into third at Coors Field.
The Padres have since gone all-in on a youth movement, much of it below the major league level. Myers, who signed a club-record, $83 million extension in January, is San Diego’s most recognizable face for now and the foreseeable future.
Monday, the image was reinforced in historic fashion.
“Those moments don’t happen very often on a baseball field,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “To see somebody get it, someone’s who’s kind of the cornerstone of your franchise now, too, it was a lot of fun to watch.”
Myers singled in the first, ripped an RBI double in the third, launched an opposite-field home run in the sixth and came up in the eighth, needing the rarest type of hit to complete the cycle.
Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez threw a strike. Myers fouled off another pitch. Down 0-2, he saw an 87 mph slider. He swung. He connected.
“I was screaming ‘three,’” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I usually don’t get into it that much.”
“I was screaming ‘three’ to myself,” Myers said. “Inside. I wasn’t screaming out loud. … I wasn’t even thinking about a triple (when Myers went up to bat). I was just trying to put a good swing on it.
“As soon as I hit it, I was going three the whole way.”
Shortly after passing second, Myers nearly stumbled but kept his balance. He arrived at third standing up. There was no throw to the bag.
“He was really, really excited,” said third base coach Glenn Hoffman, who also had been there to congratulate Kemp in 2015. “Just was hoping he didn’t fall down between second and third, because he was trying so hard.”
The cycle was the first of the major league season. It was the 15th all-time at Coors Field, including the eighth by a visiting team. The last two belong to the Padres.
“It’s pretty wild,” Myers said. “This is obviously a place to do it.”
Myers had never hit for the cycle at any level of baseball. He estimated he’d finished a triple shy of the cycle three times in his career. He had experienced success at Coors Field, where he entered the day hitting .323 with five home runs in 16 games.
His 17th here will be remembered for years to come. His four hits, none bigger than the last, tied a career high.
His teammates helped ensure history was made for the winning side. Manuel Margot walked in the third, scoring the game’s first run on Myers’ double. Moments after Myers’ home run, Hunter Renfroe, playing his first career game at Coors Field, also cleared the right-field wall, with a two-run blast. In the eighth, Myers scored on Yangervis Solarte’s sacrifice fly.
Right-hander Jarred Cosart, making a spot start in place of Trevor Cahill, threw four scoreless innings. He induced three double plays and debuted a slider he had been tinkering with since the final week of spring training. From there, the Padres relied on a cadre of bullpen arms.
Colorado’s D.J. LeMahieu hit a solo home run in the sixth, ending the shutout bid. Mark Reynolds launched a two-run shot in the ninth, pulling the Rockies to within two runs.
It would not be enough. Myers’ cycle came in a victory.
“Now we’ve got two,” Hoffman said. “Now we need a no-hitter.”
By Dennis Lin