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.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.