MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich became the first major leaguer to hit for the cycle twice in one season against the same team, driving in four runs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cincinnati Reds 8-0 on Monday night.
Less than three weeks after his cycle in Cincinnati, the streaking slugger accomplished the feat against the last-place Reds once again to help the Brewers in their playoff pursuit. Milwaukee began the night 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central but with a three-game lead in the wild-card race.
Yelich singled in the first inning, doubled in the second, launched a two-run homer in the fifth and completed the cycle when he added a two-run triple in the sixth. With the Brewers nursing a large lead, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Yelich’s huge second half has turned him into a top contender for the NL MVP award. He also hit for the cycle when he went 6 for 6 in a 13-12 comeback victory on Aug. 29 at Cincinnati, making him the fifth player to turn the trick twice in one season — and first in Brewers history.
He is the first major leaguer to do it twice in one year against the same team.
The previous player with two cycles in one season was Aaron Hill in 2012.
Yelich put the Brewers up 4-0 in the fifth, following a walk to Curtis Granderson with his 31st homer.
Domingo Santana, who hit 30 homers last year for the Brewers but spent most of this season at Triple-A, opened the fifth with his second pinch-hit home run in two games.
Wade Miley (5-2) labored through five innings and allowed five hits. He had two runners aboard in the second, third and fourth.
Josh Hader struck out the side in the sixth, and Brandon Woodruff finished with three spotless innings for his first save.
Anthony DeSclafani (7-6) gave up four runs and seven hits with two walks in five innings.
Milwaukee extended the lead to 8-0 in the sixth, capped by Yelich’s two-run triple to right-center.
The Brewers, who totaled three runs in losing their previous two games to Pittsburgh, took a 1-0 lead in the third. Granderson walked and Yelich lined a double to right off the glove of diving first baseman Joey Votto. Lorenzo Cain followed with a sacrifice fly.
Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen (3-1, 3.21 ERA) will make his first start since 2015, when he made 21 starts as a rookie. His last 151 appearances have been in relief.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (9-7, 3.85) is 3-0 in three starts against the Reds this season. He’s 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 career starts vs. Cincinnati. Anderson has allowed 29 homers, tied for most in the NL.