On Tuesday night, the Pirates’ Triple-A team in Indianapolis (the Indians) hosted the Phillies’ team from Lehigh Valley (the IronPigs). As luck would have it, two Indians hitters hit for the cycle as they went on to beat the IronPigs 12-5.
Shortstop Kevin Newman went 5-for-5 with three RBI. He led off the bottom of the first inning with a double, singled in the third, tripled in the fifth, and hit a solo home run in the eighth.
Catcher Jacob Stallings also doubled in the first, then hit a solo homer in the fourth, singled in the sixth, and hit an RBI triple in the eighth.
Not only did both players hit for the cycle in the same game, they completed the cycle in the same inning. According to MLB.com’s Mike Rosenbaum, it’s the second time two teammates hit for the cycle in the same game. On April 11, Gio Brusa and Jalen Miller of the Giants’ advanced Single-A team in San Jose both hit for the cycle.
Newman is considered the No. 7 prospect in the Pirates’ system, according to MLB Pipeline. Stallings is not listed among the Pirates’ top-30 prospects. Stallings has, however, made brief appearances in the majors in each of the past three years.
Coincidentally, this is not the first time this week a minor league affiliate of the Phillies was involved in something rare. On Monday, the Phillies’ advanced Single-A team in Clearwater (the Threshers) had a perfect game thrown against them by the Tampa Tarpons’ Deivi Garcia but wound up winning anyway.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.