Johnson records D-backs' fourth cycle
Second baseman's feat bittersweet in loss to Giants
PHOENIX -- The way the D-backs' season has transpired, individual achievements have provided a distraction to the team-wide woes.
Edwin Jackson's no-hitter on June 25 certainly qualified, but that performance led to a win. Kelly Johnson's successful bid for the cycle Friday night was less appreciated in a 7-4 defeat to the Giants, Arizona's 60th loss through 97 games.
"Pretty cool thing to say that you did, but unfortunately we lost," said Johnson, who reached base in all five of his plate appearances.
"Kelly hits for the cycle, and in my mind, it's like I have no feeling towards it," added interim manager Kirk Gibson. "We lost the game. We didn't play well. The kid played his butt off. And it's one of those days where you can't really celebrate."
But perhaps time passed will lend itself to appreciation. After all, Johnson became just the fourth player in club history and the third Major League player this season to hit for the cycle. (Milwaukee's Jody Gerut accomplished the feat against the D-backs at Chase Field on May 8.)
Johnson, who entered the game 2-for-16 on Arizona's current homestand, homered toward right field off Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez in his first-inning at-bat. His 16th dinger of 2010 tied a career high.
Johnson was then hit by a Sanchez pitch in the third before serving up a ground-rule double in the fifth. Facing Sanchez's first reliever, Santiago Casilla, in the sixth, the left-handed-hitting Johnson smacked a two-run triple to the opposite field. The base knock temporarily tied the score at 3.
"The play dictated me going" to third base, said Johnson, who has three triples this season. "It was in [the gap] easy enough."
Johnson completed his historic performance in the eighth with a single off Giants right-hander Sergio Romo. It sailed over second baseman Freddy Sanchez's head.
"I just looked to hit it hard," the man of the night said. "Nerves were a part of it just because you're thinking about it."
The D-backs' two-hole hitter has three other four-hit games this season and is batting .283 overall.
The last franchise player to hit for the cycle was Johnson's middle-infield partner, shortstop Stephen Drew, who did so on Sept. 1, 2008, against the St. Louis Cardinals. Greg Colbrunn and Luis Gonzalez were the other Arizona players to do it.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.