1972 & 1980: A couple of Twins hit for the cycle

September 19, 1972

When Cesar Tovar came to bat for the Twins in the ninth inning, the score was tied and perhaps the farthest thing from his mind was completing the cycle. He had tripled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, and doubled in the seventh. He had just one previous home run all season when he came to the plate with a man at first and two out against the Texas Rangers.

In perhaps the most dramatic way possible, Tovar completed the cycle with a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Twins beat the Rangers, 5-3.

Tovar was only the second member of the Minnesota Twins to hit for the cycle. Rod Carew had done it two years earlier. Prior to that, their had been four other cycles hit in franchise history.

September 18, 1980

Almost exactly eight years later Gary Ward became the sixth Twin and 10th player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. His was a little less dramatic than Tovar’s. Ward’s triple in the seventh inning clinched the cycle and scored a run for the Twins, cutting the Milwaukee lead to just two runs. The Twins went on to tie the score that very inning.

Ward’s next plate appearance came with one out in the eighth inning and a one run lead for the Twins. He lined out to the shortstop as part of a 1-2-3 inning for Milwaukee pitcher John Flinn. The Brewers went on to win the game with a bottom-of-the-ninth two-out two-run home run off the bat of Gorman Thomas. Doug Corbett was charged with a loss for the Twins, one of just seven home runs he allowed all season.

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