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05/13/07 9:49 PM ET
Giants rookie Lewis hits for the cycle
Outfielder gets two singles, double, triple, homer vs. Rockies
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
DENVER -- Good thing Fred Lewis felt hungry Sunday morning. In discussing the crowning achievement of his relatively brief baseball career -- hitting for the cycle in the San Francisco Giants' 15-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies -- Lewis took time to mention the "great breakfast" that began his day. It was a ham-and-cheese omelet. "I don't normally have ham-and-cheese omelets. I just have scrambled eggs," Lewis said. Lewis certainly scrambled the Rockies' pitching staff in only his 16th Major League game and fourth start with the Giants. Batting leadoff and playing center field, Lewis doubled in the first inning and lofted a three-run homer in the fourth off Colorado starter Taylor Buchholz. It was Lewis' first Major League home run. Even Lewis admitted that his opposite-field fly to left, which traveled an estimated 382 feet, might not have flown out of any other ballpark other than Coors Field. "I didn't think at all that home run was gone," said Lewis, 26. "I don't hit too many home runs to the opposite field; I just hit line drives. I was thinking 'three' [triple] out of the box." Defying the percentages, Lewis, a left-handed batter, drove an RBI triple to left-center field in the fifth inning off Rockies left-hander Tom Martin. Lewis finished his cycle in the seventh inning when he led off with a line-drive single to right on a 1-2 pitch from Denny Bautista. Lewis wasn't certain when he batted in the seventh whether he had a chance at a singular achievement. "I didn't put a whole lot of emphasis on it," he said. "I wasn't sure if they counted the triple a triple, because I hesitated going around second. So I was going up there just to hit, because I didn't know for sure." The Coors Field crowd responded with a warm ovation for Lewis, who unleashed a torrent of factoids: He became the franchise's 22nd player to hit for the cycle and the ninth in San Francisco history. The last Giant to hit for the cycle was Randy Winn on Aug. 15, 2005, at Cincinnati. The next day in the same ballpark, Pedro Feliz and Deivi Cruz each collected five hits; Lewis became the first player since then to match them when he singled again in the seventh off Zach McClellan to complete a 5-for-6 afternoon (he also struck out in the second inning). Lewis is just the fourth player in Major League history to include his first home run as part of a cycle. The others were St. Louis' Cliff Heathcote (June 13, 1918), Minnesota's Gary Ward (Sept. 18, 1980) and Houston's Luke Scott (July 28, 2006). Lewis is the first strictly left-handed batter to hit for the cycle since the Giants moved West. Winn, a switch-hitter, launched his triple while batting right-handed in his cycle. The last strictly left-handed Giants batter to hit for the cycle was Don Mueller on July 11, 1954, against Pittsburgh. Lewis, 26, said during Spring Training that he sincerely believed he belongs in the Majors. Recalled only last Thursday from Triple-A Fresno, he remains driven to establish himself. "I'm just trying to show everybody that I can play," said Lewis, a former wide receiver at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College who has played baseball full-time only since 2002. Lewis certainly impressed many observers. "That was exciting to watch," said Giants second baseman Kevin Frandsen, whose 4-for-5 effort was overshadowed by Lewis. "I was on the top step of the dugout. That's what makes baseball fun, when your buddies come up and have success. ... It's like watching Barry [Bonds] hit a home run. It's something you don't experience every day and it's exciting to watch." Said Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, "It was a legit cycle, too. All his balls were hit really hard." "I think the guy has a chance to be a special player," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who'll probably continue to start Lewis against right-handed pitchers. "He has talent written all over him." By the way, Lewis' big breakfast wasn't the only part of his morning routine. He also called his mother, Vivian, in Wiggins, Miss., to wish her "Happy Mother's Day." "I told her I love you," said Lewis, who also sent his mother a dozen roses. "She told me she loves me back and I told her, 'I'm going out to play my game.'"
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.