Lambo’s cycle helps Curve win

From Mirror reports

AKRON, Ohio – Andrew Lambo not only made Curve history, he accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball Tuesday night.

Lambo became the first Curve player to hit for the cycle in Altoona’s 14-6 thumping of Akron at Canal Park. Any cycle is memorable, but the way Lambo did it made it even more special, let alone that it happened in only five innings.

Lambo singled in the first inning, doubled in the third inning, tripled in the fourth inning and homered in the fifth inning. Getting the hits in order is called the “natural cycle,” and it’s incredibly rare.

In major league history, the natural cycle has only happened 14 times and not since 2006. There are no records kept of how frequently things like that occur in the minor leagues.

It was the first time in his career Lambo hit for the cycle.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Lambo said by phone after the game. “It’s a big honor, and to do it for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, I take pride in that.”

Lambo spent most of the time during his postgame interview talking about how great of a night it was for his entire team. The Curve scored nine runs in the fourth inning and collected 18 hits, with several players enjoying a big night.

“It was just a fun day,” Lambo said. “Everybody was hitting.”

The way the night was going, Lambo was assured of having a chance at the cycle after he tripled in the fourth inning. He already had the single and double and was guaranteed at least a couple of more at-bats to try for the homer.

He did not intentionally try for the homer when he stepped to the plate in the fifth inning, and in fact he said he wasn’t aware that’s all he needed for the cycle.

“I didn’t even know until [hitting coach Ryan Long] came up to me after I hit the home run and he was congratulating me,” Lambo said.

“When you’re in the moment, you’re just happy everybody’s doing good,” he added while singling out and offering congratulations to teammates Stefan Welch and Gift Ngoepe for getting their first hits of the season.

Lambo found out after the game he had accomplished the natural cycle.

“When I looked at it I was like wow, I guess I did it,” he said. “That’s pretty crazy. That’s pretty nuts. … It’s definitely a cool experience.”

Lambo finished 4-for-6 with three RBIs and four runs. He’s in his sixth season in Double-A despite being just 24 years old, and his fast start – he’s hitting .417 – could help him prove to the Pirates that he deserves another opportunity in Triple-A.

After the game of his career, though, most of what Lambo was thinking about was everyone else on the team succeeding.

“It was just a good team day,” he said.

SUBHD: Game recap

Key player: LF Andrew Lambo became the first Curve player to hit for the cycle.

Key play: Lambo’s homer in the fifth inning completed the cycle, which occurred in natural order.

Key stat: Amazingly, Lambo needed only five innings to hit for the cycle.

SUBHD: How they scored

Top 1st: Rojas singled, scored on Lambo single (1-0); Dickerson double scored Lambo (2-0).

Bottom 1st: Cud singled, scored on Chen single (2-1); Ramirez singled, scored on Aguilar groundout (2-2).

Top 3rd: Lambo doubled, scored on Santos double (3-2); Dickerson double scored Santos (4-2).

Top 4th: Ngoepe walked, Rojas singled, both scored on Curry double (6-2); Lambo triple scored Curry (7-2); Howard fielder’s choice scored Lambo (8-2); Dickerson walked, scored along with Howard on Welch double (10-2); Paulino hit by pitch, scored on Ngoepe single (11-2); Rojas double scored Welch and Ngoepe (13-2).

Top 5th: Lambo solo homer (14-2).

Bottom 5th: Urshela singled, scored on Ramirez groundout (14-3); Lavisky hit by pitch, scored on Chen single (14-4); Cid hit by pitch, scored on Moncrief groundout (14-5).

Bottom 6th: Cid tripled, scored on Cunningham error (14-6).