Rookie Elly De La Cruz became the youngest Major League Baseball player to hit for the cycle in 51 years on Friday night, as Cincinnati Reds extended its winning streak to 12 games with an 11-10 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
De La Cruz doubled to open the second inning, had a two-run homer in the third, a run-scoring single to center in the fifth, and tripled in the sixth for his fourth RBI of the night – pushing the Reds’ lead to 11-7.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 21-year-old is now the youngest player to hit for the cycle since Houston’s César Cedeño in 1972. De La Cruz also became the third player since 1901 to hit for the cycle within his first 15 career games.
Elly De La Cruz’s cycle was the seventh in the history of the team, fifth since 1900, and first since Eric Davis, whom he shares the same No.44 with, had the feat against San Diego on June 2, 1989.
“I can’t really put it into words right now,” he said. “I’m happy and excited. It is fortunate Eric Davis is one of the legends of this game and in Cincinnati, too. Sure enough, he let me wear that jersey No. 44 and to be the [first] one since him to do that, is incredible.”
Two months after a record low for attendance at the Great American Ball Park stadium of 7,375 people on April 17, a massive crowd of 43,086 had many Red fans chant “Elly! “Elly!
“I think this might be the best regular-season game that I’ve been a part of,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I think a lot had to do with the atmosphere in the ballpark.”
“Both teams played a great game. They came up short, but it showed the kind of team they are. It took a lot of great performances to win that game.”
Cincinnati Red bounced from an early 5-0 deficit and stopped Atlanta’s eight-game winning streak, to extend its own to 12.
The Reds’ winning streak is tied for the second-best in franchise history, matching the 1939 and 1957 teams for the club’s longest since 1900. It also ties with the 1890 Louisville Colonels for the longest win streak by any team that lost at least 100 games the previous season in major league history.