Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer wasted little time getting back into a hitting groove after a long stint on the disabled list, as the two-time All-Star hit for the cycle for the second time in his career in the Rockies' 10-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
The team's Twitter account first relayed the news:
Cuddyer completes the cycle with a double. #Rockies up 9-5.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 18, 2014
It's a remarkable performance for Cuddyer considering the veteran outfielder hadn't played a game for the club since a June 5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out that this is the first cycle of the 2014 MLB season:
Michael Cuddyer: 2nd career cycle (had one in 2009), 1st cycle in MLB in 2014— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 18, 2014
Cuddyer got the hard part out of the way early, tripling in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning. He then added a solo home run in the sixth inning and a single in the seventh.
The 35-year-old finished off the cycle in style, posting a two-run double in the eighth inning to complete the rare feat and put the game out of reach for his opponents.
Fox 31 Denver's Raul Martinez liked the way the entire team performed on Sunday night:
& Cuddyer just hit for the cycle. Welcome back Cuddy!#Rockies have been special tonight.Rally guy helped, but going to give credit to Todd.— Raul Martinez (@RaulSports) August 18, 2014
After the game, Cuddyer talked about his epic return to the lineup, via Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
"I always say no matter what your record is or where you are in the standings, it's always more fun to smile after a game than it is to frown," Cuddyer said. "We were able to smile after two games today."
It's a bright spot in what has been an abysmal season for the Colorado Rockies. The team's record stands at 49-75 after Sunday night's victory over the Reds.
They are mired in last place in the NL West and are currently 20 games back of first place. Before a torn labrum recently cut his season short, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had been phenomenal, putting up MVP-like numbers, but his Herculean efforts weren't enough to carry the team to victory very often.
Hopefully, this performance is a sign that Cuddyer is fully healed and can give the team a second star to count on heading into the final stretch of this season. He's been a stud since moving to the Rockies in 2012 and boasts a .331 average in 33 games this year. Cuddyer's contract is up at the end of the season, and he may need a strong finish if the Rockies are going to consider re-signing him.