Outfielder Austin Hays becomes sixth player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit for cycle

Outfielder Austin Hays becomes sixth player in Baltimore Orioles history to hit for cycle

BALTIMORE — Four at-bats, four hits and an unforgettable cycle in just six innings of work.

“Beyond incredible. Epic night,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said after Austin Hays became the sixth player in Orioles history to hit for the cycle.

Hays completed the feat with a sixth-inning double amid steady rain and shortly before play was brought to a halt in Baltimore’s 7-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Hays pulled it off while batting leadoff in place of Cedric Mullins, who was given the night off. Facing Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin, Hays had an infield single in the first inning, hit a solo home run in the third and hit a triple in the fourth.

That apparently left the 26-year-old outfielder plenty of time to score the double that would allow him to join Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. in the Orioles record book.

But heavy rain threatened to end the match midway through the fifth.

“We went in and it wasn’t clear if we were going to finish the game or not,” Hays said. “I wasn’t sure with more rain if I was going to get a chance.”

Although play resumed after a 44-minute delay, not long afterward it began to rain again. He was going down hard in the sixth when Hays completed the cycle with a double to center off Steve Cishek.

“It was crazy,” Hays said. “I was definitely thinking about that. I was thinking about getting a slider that hung over the middle of the plate. Sure enough, Cishek hung a slider there.”

Standing in the rain, Hays smiled widely as he stood on second base.

“It was a really cool feeling,” he said. “She gave me goosebumps just as I was touching second base.”

The game was stopped again after Baltimore’s four-run sixth inning, and the canvas never came off.

The last Baltimore player to hit for the cycle was Jonathan Villar against the Yankees on August 5, 2019. Prior to that, Robinson, Ripken, Aubrey Huff and Felix Pie did.

Since Hays’ effort was completed in the sixth inning, it was earlier in the game than the previous five in club history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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