D-backs' Drew hits for cycle
Shortstop is third player in team history to achieve feat
PHOENIX -- You will have to forgive some of the D-backs for not realizing that Stephen Drew was going for history when he stepped into the batter's box in the seventh inning Monday afternoon at Chase Field.
Drew was just a double away from the cycle, but with the game tied at 6, some of those in the Arizona dugout were more focused on the score than Drew's stats.
"This is going to sound bad, but I did not know it," said newly acquired infielder David Eckstein, who hit second behind Drew on Monday. "I'm just trying to learn the signs right now. I just knew he had a hit every time he was up there. I'm usually right on top of that, I usually know everything and follow that stuff, but I didn't think about it. I didn't think about it at all. Maybe that's why he did it because no one was saying, 'Hey all you need is a double.'"
Whatever the reason, Drew smoked a drive that bounced over the wall in left for a ground-rule double to join Luis Gonzalez (1999) and Greg Colbrunn (2002) as the only D-backs to accomplish the feat. Drew became the fourth player in the Majors this year to hit for the cycle, joining Carlos Gomez (Twins), Mark Kotsay (Braves) and Cristian Guzman (Nationals).
Drew also helped make Major League history. With Seattle's Adrian Beltre also hitting for the cycle on Monday night, it marked just the second time two players have done it on the same day. Bobby Veach of the Detroit Tigers and George Burns of the New York Giants accomplished the feat on Sept. 17, 1920.
It took a moment for everyone in attendance at Chase Field to realize what had just happened. Arizona manager Bob Melvin was confused as to why third-base coach Chip Hale was asking for the ball.
"I guess there were a few of us that weren't aware," the manager joked.
Drew, however, was not one of them.
"I knew it, but I wasn't focused on it," he said. "We were trying to win a game."
The D-backs did end up on top, and Drew had a lot to do with that.
After singling to lead off the first, Drew tripled in the third and homered in the fifth. After his ground-rule double in the seventh, he collected another double in the eighth for good measure.
It was the first 5-for-5 game of his Major League career as he tied the franchise record.
"I'm kind of in shock right now," he said. "I'm just trying to put good [at-bats] together. I'm just glad we got the win. It's a great feeling, no doubt. To hit for the cycle, it's fine, but it wouldn't have really meant anything to me if we didn't win. The biggest thing was the win today."
Maybe so, but chances are, the thing that everyone will remember most about this game was Drew's performance.
"It seems like he gets a good at-bat every time up," Melvin said. "It's certainly going to be a game he's going to remember. You don't get too many like this. It will be one of the most exciting offensive games of his life."
Since taking over as the team's leadoff hitter on July 12, Drew has hit .344 to raise his batting average from .259 to .289.
Drew hit just .238 last year, his second in the Majors, after bursting on the scene with a .316 mark in 2006. It was a disappointing year for Drew, who felt like he hit the ball well, but time after time had little to show for it.
"It feels good," Drew said of the streak he's been on. "I told you guys last year it gets frustrating at times. It feels good when the ball is falling for you. This year, they seem to be falling and it's a good feeling. The comfort level where I'm at right now it feels pretty good."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.