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Colbrunn huffs way to last leg of a cycle

©Associated Press
September 20, 2002

SAN DIEGO -- Greg Colbrunn had 10 triples in his first 2,665 career at-bats. His 11th gave him a milestone.

The Diamondbacks infielder lofted a fly ball into rightfield in the ninth inning late Wednesday and chugged into third to complete an improbable cycle that included a pair of two-run home runs.

Mark Grace screamed at Colbrunn during his second home run trot to miss the plate on purpose, "because we didn't think he was going to get an opportunity to get a triple," manager Bob Brenly said after Arizona's 10-3 rout of San Diego.

"What are the odds of me hitting a triple?" said Colbrunn, whose teammates doused him with beer and ice water in the clubhouse after he got five hits. "I was up there trying to take advantage of another at-bat."

Brenly has seen his share of cycles, "but when you have to get the triple your last time up, that's the least likely cycle, especially for a guy like Colby, who doesn't run particularly well. But he hit it in the right spot."

Colbrunn's fly ball off Doug Nickle landed just inside the line and bounced off the auxiliary scoreboard on the wall. By the time Bubba Trammell tracked it down in the corner, Colbrunn was legging out his triple.

"I was running," Colbrunn said. "It was going to be like Little League, keep running until I got to third. I got halfway there and it was like, "Oh, god, just try to make it there.' "

Brenly didn't look to see if third-base coach Eddie Rodriguez was waving Colbrunn around second, "because we were all screaming, "Go, go, go,' from the dugout. I don't think Colby would have stopped if we'd have put a barricade out there at second base."

It was the second cycle for the Diamondbacks. The first was July 5, 2000, by Luis Gonzalez at Houston.

Making his 39th start this season and batting second, Colbrunn went 5-for-6 with 4 RBIs and 4 runs, setting a career high and tying a club record for hits.

Colbrunn singled and scored in the first inning, struck out in the third and hit a 406-foot, two-run homer in the fourth. He doubled and scored in the sixth then hit his second homer in the seventh.

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