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Trea Turner hits for second career cycle vs. Rox

@JamalCollier
July 24, 2019

WASHINGTON -- A smile crept across Trea Turner's face as he pulled into second base in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 11-1 win. A rowdy crowd of 22,612 fans at Nationals Park showered him with a standing ovation while the home dugout stood and cheered. This was all a

WASHINGTON -- A smile crept across Trea Turner's face as he pulled into second base in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 11-1 win. A rowdy crowd of 22,612 fans at Nationals Park showered him with a standing ovation while the home dugout stood and cheered.

This was all a familiar feeling for Turner, who had just hit for the cycle for the second time in his career (once again against the Rockies), making him just the 26th player in MLB history to accomplish the feat more than once and the third player to do so against the same team. But in that moment -- the middle of an eight-run seventh inning that catapulted the Nationals to victory over the Rockies -- what Turner felt most was relief.

“I didn’t screw it up this time,” he said with a smile.

Box score

Turner was referring to a game against the White Sox last month in Chicago, when he finished a single shy of the cycle, unable to get the final hit he needed in his final two at-bats. He missed his first chance Tuesday night when he grounded into an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning, spoiling his opportunity at the cycle at a point when he was not guaranteed another at-bat.

When he got to the plate again in the seventh, however, Turner capitalized. He lined a 1-0 pitch from Rockies reliever Jairo Díaz into the gap in right-center field and glided into second base with a place in history secure (again). He finished the night 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored.

“For me, it’s almost [funnier] than anything that I got lucky enough to get all the right hits,” Turner said. “I think it’s kind of a lucky stat, just because you’ve got to put the ball in the right place at the right time. And I ended up doing that.”

Yes, some luck is required, but Turner’s combination of speed and power at the plate always makes him a threat to complete one of baseball’s most special feats for a hitter. This was the fourth cycle in Nationals history, with Turner’s pair joining Brad Wilkerson and Cristian Guzman.

“It's a feat that doesn't happen often,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “To be able to do it twice. That, to me, is a testament to how good a player Trea really is.”

Colorado has also contributed to a plethora of cycles throughout team history. Turner hit the 10th cycle against the Rockies, with the previous nine all coming at Coors Field. In fact, the previous 18 cycles the Rockies have been involved in since becoming a team in 1993 had all come at Coors Field, which opened in ‘95.

That includes Turner’s first cycle from April 25, 2017, which he finished with a triple, sliding into third base wearing a fleece mask and long sleeves on a cold night in Colorado.

“It was terrible in Colorado, I was pretty miserable,” Turner said. “And I was coming back from I think a hamstring pull. I remember when I hit the triple, [first-base coach at the time] Davey Lopes was yelling at me to go easy. And I was like: ‘Screw it, this is probably my one and only shot.’ So I went for it.”

He went for it again on Tuesday night, although the weather conditions at Nationals Park were much better.

Turner began the game by launching a leadoff homer, the ninth of his career, which matches Alfonso Soriano for the most in Nationals history (2005-present). He collected a two-out single in the second and knocked a triple into the right-field corner in the fifth -- the first three legs of the cycle all off Colorado starter Peter Lambert.

Then he finished it off in the seventh, putting him in a select group in baseball history. Turner joins Fred Clarke (in 1901 and ‘03, against the Reds) and Christian Yelich (last season, also against the Reds) as the other players in MLB history to record two cycles against the same team. Adrián Beltré owns the Major League record with three, a fact Turner said he had heard recently, although he wasn’t sure he would be challenging that mark anytime soon.

“It’s a hard game, and to get four hits in one game is hard to do,” Turner said. “To have four different ones is, I think, a little bit of luck. But also, at the same time, a little humbling to be with those guys.”

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.