Back at No. 9, Reynolds almost comes full cycle

July 16, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

To his credit, or more accurately, to his blissful ignorance, Harold Reynolds had just one thing on his mind when he came to the plate in the eighth inning last night in the Orioles' 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"My eyes lit up when I saw that passed ball come through and Cal [Ripken] and David [Segui] moved up [to second and third]," said Reynolds. "I saw two ribbies coming and that would have jTC broken the game open."

The unselfishness Reynolds displayed was laudable, but he missed a chance at history.

All the second baseman needed was a triple to become the third player in Orioles history to hit for the cycle, having already banged out a second-inning double, a fifth-inning bases-empty home run and a seventh-inning single.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't know [about the cycle]. I wished I had known because I would have changed my approach," he said. "I was trying to slap it up the middle. I would have tried to bomb it."

Chances are, given his career numbers, Reynolds probably had just one bomb in his arsenal, and he exhibited that in the fifth against Twins starter Scott Erickson, when he slugged his 18th career home run in 4,382 at-bats.

With a career home run/at-bat ratio of 0.0041-1, no one was more

surprised at Reynolds' power display than himself.

"That [career home run total] is two weeks for Chris Hoiles. I'll catch him real soon," joked Reynolds, whose last homer was July 4, 1992, for Seattle at Detroit.

The location of the drive, which landed in the center-field bleachers, also caught Reynolds off guard.

"I ran the whole way around the bases. I never hit a ball that far to center field like that, and when I saw the ball rattle around in center, I was kind of shocked that I hit it that far," said Reynolds. "It was a bomb. That's the best I could hit it."

Reynolds' power display came on a night when he returned to his customary ninth slot in the batting order from the leadoff position, a post he had filled for 19 straight games, stepping in when Brady Anderson was disabled with chickenpox.

In that span, Reynolds put together a team-high 15-game hitting streak and reached base in all but one game.

The only blemish for Reynolds last night was a wild throw in the fourth on a potential inning-ending grounder by shortstop Pat Meares that allowed third baseman Mike Pagliarulo to score the go-ahead run.

"I didn't set myself to make the throw and it ends up being a big run, because it ran Ben [McDonald] out of his rhythm," said Reynolds. "But you can't try to make up for it, because when you do that, you usually end up messing up again."

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