Orioles’ Austin Hays records fourth cycle of MLB season in rain-shortened game vs. Nationals
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays recorded the fourth cycle of Major League Baseball’s 2022 regular season on Wednesday night in 7-0 win against the Washington Nationals (box score). Hays did it in an efficient manner, requiring just four at-bats and six innings to tick off all of the boxes. It’s a good thing he did, too, because rain forced the game to be called after the end of the sixth.
Hays led off the bottom of the first inning with an infield single against Nationals starter Patrick Corbin. He would later victimize Corbin with a solo home run in the third, and a two-out triple in the fourth. Hays’ next at-bat came in the sixth against veteran reliever Steve Cishek. Though Cishek has historically been tough against right-handed batters, Hays didn’t seem bothered. Rather, he hit a ball deep to the left-center alley that bounced once before striking the outfield wall.
Hays was able to stroll into second base by the time Lane Thomas returned the ball to the infield. Take a look at the sequence of events that allowed him to become the sixth Oriole to ever hit for the cycle:
Prior to Hays’ outing on Wednesday night, the last Orioles batter to hit for the cycle was Jonathan Villar. Villar accomplished the feat against the New York Yankees in August 2019.
Hays, who will celebrate his 27th birthday on July 5, entered the night hitting .276/.337/.449 (125 OPS+) with nine home runs and 15 doubles in his first 64 games. His contributions had been worth an estimated 1.7 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations.
Hays’ cycle is the third of June, joining New York Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar (June 6) and Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (June 11). Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich achieved the first cycle of the year on May 11. Coincidentally, all four cycles have come against opponents from the National League.