Freddie Freeman Hits First Cycle This Season; Atlanta Braves Defeat Reds 9-8 in 13 Innings
There were four players who hit for the cycle during the 2015 MLB season.
The 2016 season now has its first.
One of the only bright spots for the struggling Atlanta Braves this season, first baseman Freddie Freeman has become the seventh player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. Solidifying the historic evening with a single in the bottom half of the 11th inning, the 26-year-old veteran has tallied just the third cycle for the club since the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966.
It’s pretty strange and rare for the final hit of a cycle to be a single, and Freeman is the first Braves player to hit for the cycle since Mark Kotsay against the Chicago Cubs during the 2008 season.
— MLB (@MLB) June 16, 2016
Freeman Nearly Wins Game in Regulation
Freeman almost scored the winning run later in the inning. He advanced to second on a balk by Tony Cingrani, and then went to third on an infield single by Adonis Garcia. After Nick Markakis walked to load the bases with nobody out, Jace Peterson grounded into a fielder’s choice as Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart made a great play to beat Freeman to the plate. But a short pop fly to center and a grounder to shortstop sent the game to the 12th inning.
Freeman struck out in the first inning, but then doubled in the third and later scored to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. With the Braves up 4-0 the next inning, Freeman ripped a triple to right field, but was stranded at third.
After the Reds rallied to take a 6-5 lead, Freeman tied things up in the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot to left field off Reds’ reliever Josh Smith.
Freeman struck out looking in the eighth inning, but then got his lead off single in the 11th. He almost had an infield hit in the 12th, but replay overturned first base umpire Jim Joyce’s safe call at first base.
The Braves did finally win the game as Chase d’Arnaud’s blooper to center field in the bottom of the 13th inning gave Atlanta a 9-8 victory.
In 2016, the veteran first baseman is batting .258 across 64 games while also notching 11 home runs, 22 RBI and a .350 on-base percentage.
Spending his entire big league career in Atlanta thus far, Freeman previously inked an eight-year contract extension to remain with the Braves in February 2014.
(Freddie Freeman Hits First Cycle This Season)