Matt Kemp last night achieved a feat at the plate that eluded even the great Tony Gwynn.
The right fielder hit for the cycle in a 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. He added four RBI to his four hits, helping newly-acquired long reliever Bud Norris to collect just his third win of the season in 12 decisions.
Kemp homered in the first, singled in the third, and doubled in the seventh. When he stepped to the plate in the ninth, he needed a three-bagger for the cycle. Kemp hit a deep fly to right-center that caromed awkwardly off the Coors Field bullpen wall back toward center. The ball’s duration in the air, and its fortuitous bounce, allowed Kemp to stand up at third. He finished the evening 4-for-5.
Kemp became the fourth MLB player to hit for the cycle this season. Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt, Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, and his 36-year-old teammate Adrian Beltre collected the four types of hits in games earlier this season.
The rare plate accomplishment marks the first time in Padres history that one of its players has hit for the cycle. Entering the game, the franchise boasted neither a cycle nor a no-hitter. It remains the lone club without a no-no and leaves the Marlins as the sole franchise not registering a cycle. Kemp initially believed talk of a first cycle applied to him and not the team.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, that is my first one,'” Kemp told third-base coach Glenn Hoffman after the ’80s-era Red Sox infielder noted the import of the accomplishment. “He said, ‘No, that’s the first one for the Padres.’ I was like, ‘Wow.’ It’s hard to believe, all the great hitters that have been here, Tony Gwynn and all those guys, haven’t been able to hit for the cycle. I’m just glad to be able to do it.”