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Muramatsu Hits Natural Cycle

Discussion in the Records and Milestones forum
Muramatsu Hits Natural Cycle
An hour and fifteen minutes after Inaba hit for the cycle, Daiei's Muramatsu Arihito completed a natural cycle in Daiei's 14-9 victory over Kintetsu to reclaim first place in the Pacific League. Muramatsu became the 57th player (61st time) to hit for the cycle.

Muramatsu led off the game with a single to center to start off a nine run rally for Daiei. (Do these cycles always come with big rallies by their teams?) Soon after scoring Daiei's first run, Muramatsu was at the plate again in the first, this time ripping a double to right to drive in a couple of runs. It didn't take long after that to score for his second time that inning, either.

Muramatsu popped out to second in the third inning.

With a 10-3 lead and two runners on in the top of the fifth, Muramatsu hit a bases clearing triple for another pair of RBIs. He then scored for the third time this game on following batter Kawasaki's sacrifice fly. Once again, Daiei batted around.

After walking in the seventh, Muramatsu stepped to the plate in the top of the ninth with two down, nobody on, and a 13-8 lead. All he needs is a home run to complete the cycle. And that's just what he did, hit a home run to right to complete the cycle - in order - for a natural cycle.

For Daiei's franchise, only Iida (1950) and Fujimoto (1990) have hit for the cycle before Muramatsu, making him the third in franchise history to hit such a rare and coveted combination.

I think that the home run in the ninth was the biggest surprise for all. Muramatsu had hit two home run in 12 season up until last season. The home run to complete the cycle this game (July 1, 2003) was his fifth of this season. It was looking like Muramatsu peaked in 1996, the year he won the Stolen Base Title with 58 steals and a .293 batting average. Since then, he's maxed out at .259 and hasn't shown near the same speed on the base paths since 1998. yet he's currently batting .302 with 9 games this season with three or more hits (modasho).

Source: Nikkan Sports

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