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Fowler hits for Sky Sox's sixth cycle06/20/2010 7:27 PM ET
By Daren Smith / MLB.com
Dexter Fowler came up with a pretty unique Father's Day gift.
Fowler needed only five innings to hit for the cycle Sunday, completing the feat with a bloop single as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox crushed the Las Vegas 51s, 13-4.
The 24-year-old center fielder drilled Lance Broadway's second pitch of the bottom of the first inning over the left-field fence for his second homer in 20 games since he was reassigned by the Rockies.
"I got a pitch away and hit it well to the opposite field," he said. "It was the start of a good day."
In the second, Fowler ripped a blast to center field for a two-run triple.
"The wind was blowing in, but I thought that one was gone," he said. "I hit it better than the first one, but it stayed in the park and I just kept on going."
Fowler caught a break in the fourth when first baseman Brett Wallace dropped his foul pop. He capped the nine-pitch at-bat by doubling to shallow left-center field.
"It was over the shortstop's head," the former 14th-round Draft pick said. "Their center fielder was playing me to pull, kind of. I thought, 'I can get there before the center fielder throws to second base.'"
By then, the thought of a cycle was on the minds of Fowler and his teammates.
"Of course, it is," he said. "In the dugout, all the guys were saying after I hit the homer and the triple, 'You got the hard ones out of the way.' From the third inning on, that's all I was thinking."
Facing Broadway again in the fifth, Fowler dropped a base hit in front of center fielder Adam Calderone to become the ninth Minor Leaguer to hit for the cycle this season. Jarrett Hoffpauir, who started the game at second base for Las Vegas, did it twice, on April 25 against Sacramento and on May 28 against Tacoma.
"I was kind of shocked," Fowler said. "I was wondering, 'Did this just happen?'"
The Atlanta native is the first member of the Sky Sox to accomplish the feat since Joe Koshansky did it twice during the 2008 season. Others to do it for Colorado Springs were Neifi Perez (Aug. 25, 1996), Choo Freeman (June 28, 2005) and Seth Smith (Aug. 17, 2007).
"I've come real close, but I never had the full cycle," Fowler said. "It's right at the top [of my highlights]. This doesn't happen a lot. And to do it on Father's Day, it's a gift for my pop."
Fowler singled again in the seventh before grounding into a double play to end the eighth. His first career five-hit game raised his average 35 points to .373. He's 11-for-20 in his last four games.
Fowler played 135 games with the Rockies last year after making the jump from Double-A Tulsa. He began this season with the big club and batted .216 in 47 games before he was sent to Colorado Springs, where he went 4-for-4 and fell a triple shy of the cycle on May 31.