August 16, 2005

Former Bronco Hits For Cycle

Aug. 16, 2005

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- Former Santa Clara University two-sport athlete Randy Winn knew he needed a triple for the cycle when he stepped to the plate in the sixth inning. Hitting one was the hard part - or so he thought.

Winn drove an opposite-field line drive to right-center and easily beat the relay throw to third base, making him the first San Francisco Giants player in more than six years to hit for the cycle. He accomplished the rare feat in his first four at-bats Monday, sending San Francisco to a 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

"If you need a single, you can bunt. But for a triple, something funky usually has to happen, like the outfielder kicking the ball away or something," Winn said. "If you could hit a ball in the gap every time up, you'd be a great hitter."

Todd Linden also homered and drove in two runs for the Giants, who overcame solo shots by Ken Griffey, Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns.

Winn led off the first inning against Aaron Harang (8-11) with a single and the third with his ninth homer this season. The 392-foot shot to right-center was his third home run in 13 games since being acquired from Seattle on July 30.

"I don't hit a lot of home runs," Winn said. "That's not my game, but I'll take them when they come. My job is to get on base."

The speedy switch-hitter doubled with one out in the fourth and was batting right-handed against Randy Keisler when he led off the sixth.

"I knew I needed a triple, but they're so hard to hit that to hit one when you need one for the cycle is almost impossible," Winn said.

Still, he did it, becoming the 21st player in Giants history to hit for the cycle. Willie Mays and Willie McCovey never turned the trick for the Giants. Neither has Barry Bonds.

"Winn's got some pop," San Francisco Manager Felipe Alou said.

"He's not known for his power, but he's got some. He's been hitting the ball far from both sides of the plate."

An All-Star with Tampa Bay in 2002, Winn has two triples with the Giants and three overall this year. The center fielder scored twice and finished 4-for-5. He is the third player to accomplish the feat this season, after Mark Grudzielanek of St. Louis on April 27 against Milwaukee, and Washington's Brad Wilkerson on April 6 in Philadelphia.