Carlos Gonzalez hits for the cycle in heroic fashion

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Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez hit for the cycle in the Rockies’ 6-5 defeat of the Cubs on Saturday, and he accomplished the home run part of the feat with a walkoff blast.

He singled in the first inning, tripled in the third, doubled in the fifth and then ended the night with a solo shot to deep right field in the bottom of the ninth.  He is the sixth player in Rockies history to pull off all of those hits in the same game and the first player to end a cycle with a walkoff home run since Dwight Evans in 1984.  Thanks, STATS LLC.

Gonzalez is having an incredible 2010 and seems to get better each night.  Through 383 at-bats this season, he is batting .321/.350/.554 with 21 homers, 68 RBI and 15 stolen bases.  The Rockies, meanwhile, have climbed to 5.5 games back of the Giants in the hunt for the National League Wild Card.  They trail the NL West-leading Padres by 7.5 games.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.