For the first time in his career, Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts hit for the cycle in Thursday's 8-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, finishing the job with a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning.
It was the cherry on top of what's been an MVP-caliber season for Betts so far. Even though the Red Sox failed to escape the Rogers Centre with a sweep, the 26-year-old made history nonetheless with one of the greatest performances in Boston's baseball history.
Betts got a single in the first inning, a triple in the next and a double in the fourth. With the game virtually out of reach in the ninth, Betts had one last chance to complete the cycle, and he capitalized on the opportunity.
Betts is the first player in the majors to accomplish the feat this season, with Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox being the last to do it on Sept. 9, 2017. The last Boston player to do it was Betts' teammate Brock Holt, who did so on June 16, 2015 against the Atlanta Braves.
Sitting at 81-35, the Red Sox have a comfortable lead for the AL East lead and home advantage throughout the entire postseason, so this loss doesn't hurt them one bit. With Betts hitting for the cycle, the Red Sox actually were able to somewhat celebrate this game, even though they lost.
Entering play on Friday, Betts is batting .347 with 27 home runs, 59 RBI and an OPS of 1.103. Though the AL MVP race is wide open this year, Betts undoubtedly has to be front-runner, as he continues to shine in every form.
Betts is the best player in baseball so far this season, so it's no surprise he's the first one to hit for the cycle. With so many prime years ahead of him, nobody should doubt Betts' ability to do it again.