"I was actually looking at the ball because I thought I hit a home run, but I didn't get as much as I thought I did," Kemp said. "It just kicked off the wall. Actually, [Rockies third baseman Nolan] Arenado asked me a tough question. He was, like, 'Would you rather it have been a home run or a triple?'"
Kemp, sitting in a chair in front of his locker, looked up and smiled.
"I like home runs, but it was my first cycle … so I think the cycle would be better," he said.
San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy said hitting coach Mark Kotsay told him right before Kemp's hit that a triple was on the way.
"Kotsay sat next to me and said, 'He's going to hit a ball off the right-field fence and it's going to ricochet,'" Murphy said. "He said it right before the pitch. That's the amazing part. Sure enough, it happened."
Players in the visitors' dugout at Coors Field were certainly aware that Kemp was in need of a triple -- and erupted as soon as the ball left his bat.
"It was awesome," said Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko. "I was going out to on-deck, but you could tell the guys were pumped up. Even off the bat, guys were telling him to run.
"It's pretty cool to see the first one. I knew he had the home run, I didn't know he just needed the triple. When it hit off the fence, I had a pretty good idea he'd be able to get there."
So did Kemp, who has two triples this season. He's not the runner he was early in his career, but he shifted into another gear knowing what was ahead of him.
"I think everybody's a little bit tired going into August and September. But my legs are feeling fine, feeling good," he said.
"Anytime you make history, it's special. Not everybody does that, I'm just glad I got the opportunity to do it."