I’m not sure what was more rare on Thursday night — that Mookie Betts hit for the cycle, or that the Boston Red Sox actually lost a baseball game.
Boston fell 8-5 to the Blue Jays in Toronto, the first loss for the Red Sox in August. The Red Sox fell to 81-35, lowering their juggernaut pace to a mere 113 victories in 2018. But in the ninth inning of the loss, Betts finished his 4-hit night with a solo home run.
Coupled with his first-inning single, second-inning triple and fourth-inning double, Betts had the first cycle in the majors this season, after a whopping seven in 2017. He also walked in the sixth inning.
Betts is having an MVP-type season for the Red Sox, hitting .347/.434/.668 with 27 home runs and 30 doubles, plus 22 steals in 25 attempts. He leads the majors in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, and ranks second to Mike Trout in on-base percentage.
Betts has also scored 95 runs in 96 games played this season. The last major leaguer with at least 100 runs scored and at least as many runs as games played was Rickey Henderson in 1985. That’s the kind of company Betts is keeping this season.