Third to accomplish feat this season; drives in four runs
ARLINGTON -- An empty bottle of Dom Perignon stood in front of Alex Rios' locker. The remains of that champagne bottle stained a pathway in the carpet to the cork near the clubhouse entrance. The fragrance in the clubhouse was that of the outfielder's first celebratory shower as a Ranger on Monday night, a common aroma after walk-off wins and historic accomplishments.
Rios etched his name in the Texas record books by completing his first career cycle in a 12-0 victory over the Astros at Rangers Ballpark, and became just the seventh player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
"It was cold," Rios said. "I couldn't even speak when I was getting drenched, but it was nice."
Rios needed just four at-bats for the cycle, and capped it with an RBI triple in the sixth on a line drive to right-center field off David Martinez that rolled near the Rangers bullpen.
"It worked out because he hit it to the perfect part of the field," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We knew what was going on. When he hit it, we were yelling on the bench, 'Triple, triple, triple.' He can run for a big guy."
The outfielder jogged out to right field after the sixth with goosebumps from a standing ovation by the 33,743 fans who witnessed the sixth cycle at Rangers Ballpark.
Rios started his night with a two-run double in the first off Jordan Lyles that he nearly attempted to stretch into a triple. He rounded second with the intent, but he put on the brakes at the last minute.
"I was just trying to take another bag," Rios said. "I wasn't thinking about a triple, I was just thinking about getting closer to home plate."
The outfielder reached on a leadoff infield single off Lyles in the third on a ground ball that danced down the third-base line. He recorded his 18th home run on a solo shot to left field in the fourth off Martinez. It was the first home run by a Ranger in four games.
"It was amazing," Elvis Andrus said. "People don't know how hard it is to hit for the cycle. It has to be your day. Hopefully, he can do that for six more days."
It's just the third cycle in the Majors this season, following the Angels' Mike Trout (May 21) and the Astros' Brandon Barnes (July 19), both against the Mariners.
Adrian Beltre was the last Ranger to hit for the cycle, on Aug. 24, 2012, against the Twins. The Rangers have recorded three of the last five American League cycles since 2010, including Bengie Molina on July 16, 2010, against the Red Sox. It's the fourth cycle recorded in club history on four at-bats.
"It's just a good night at the plate, but the most important thing is that we won tonight," Rios said. "That's the attitude we're going to take from now on. We had the attitude the whole time, but this is what we have to do to finish the season."