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Aaron Hill makes history with his second cycle of the season

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Here’s something you don’t see every day. Or week. Or month. Or year. Or decade. Well, you get the point.

After hitting for the cycle back on June 18, Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill did it again tonight against the Brewers in Milwaukee. That’s right, two cycles in the space of 12 days. And the Padres and Marlins are still waiting for their first one.

Incredibly, Hill is the first player to get two cycles in the same season since Babe Herman did it with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. That’s 81 years of baseball, folks.

Hill had a ground rule double in the top of the first inning, a single in the third, a two-run homer in the fourth and a triple in the sixth to complete the feat. By the way, that double gave him 1,000 hits for his career. Now that’s a special night.

Aaron Hill hits for cycle in win over Mariners

Aaron Hill AP
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Aaron Hill hit for the cycle tonight in the Diamondbacks’ 7-1 win over the Mariners.

Hill singled in the first inning, tripled in the third, doubled in the fifth and socked a solo home run in the seventh to complete the feat. He’s the second player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Mets’ outfielder Scott Hairston.

It was the fifth cycle in Diamondbacks’ history and the first since Kelly Johnson on July 23, 2010. Of course, Hill and Johnson were traded for each other last August.

On the strength of his 4-for-4 night at the plate, Hill is now hitting .284/.352/.475 with eight home runs, 28 RBI, six stolen bases and an .827 OPS through 64 games this season.

Report: Diamondbacks, Aaron Hill come to terms on two-year deal

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A strong six-week audition landed Aaron Hill a two-year, $10 million contract with the Diamondbacks, the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro reports.

Hill, a pretty abysmal regular in his final year and two-thirds with the Blue Jays, hit .315/.386/.492 in 33 games after coming over from Toronto with John McDonald for Kelly Johnson in August. The second baseman, who turns 30 in March, carried the hot streak into October, going 5-for-18 with a homer and five walks in the NLDS loss to the Brewers.

Hill had a career year in 2009, when he hit .286/.330/.499 with a whopping 36 homers and 108 RBI. However, he fell off to .205/.271/.394 in 2010 and continued to struggle for 4 1/2 months this year. Prior to his run with Arizona, Hill hit .225/.270/.313 in 396 at-bats with the Jays.

The $10 million bet seems a reasonable one for the Diamondbacks. Hill remains a bit above average defensively at second base, and it’s entirely possible that he’ll reemerge as a 25-homer guy next year. It probably won’t come with a very good OBP, so he’s better cast as a No. 6 or 7 hitter than the No. 2 man he’s often been in the past. Still, one could argue that he’s the best bet of the second basemen available, with the aforementioned Johnson serving as his top competition.