Chukars' Mateo cycles, plates eight

Royals prospect accomplishes rare feat in first four at-bats

Daniel Mateo had homered once before this season and not since July 5. (Robert Bower)

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | August 13, 2011 9:44 PM ET

The Ogden Raptors wouldn't give Daniel Mateo another chance to face them Saturday night. And nobody could blame them.

Mateo hit for the cycle, went 5-for-5 and plated eight runs -- all career firsts -- but was walked in his final plate appearance as the Idaho Falls Chukars outslugged the Raptors, 15-10.

"I got good pitches to hit and stayed patient," Mateo said through hitting coach and translator Omar Ramirez. "I never thought about [the cycle], I didn't even know. Somebody told me in the dugout that I hit for the cycle. It wasn't on my mind."

It took only four at-bats and five innings for Mateo to accomplish the feat. The switch-hitting shortstop smacked an RBI double in the first, an RBI single in the second, a two-run homer on a high fastball in the fourth and a bases-loaded triple in the fifth.

"It was nice. Everybody was congratulating him," Ramirez said. "But I don't think he [realized] he got it until well after."

Mateo also delivered a run-scoring single in the seventh before coming to the plate with two on, none out and the game tied at 10-10 in the ninth. Yimi Garcia (4-2), the fifth of the Raptors' six pitchers, wanted no part of him and gave him a free pass. The moved proved costly as Garcia also walked Henry Moreno to plate the go-ahead run.

"I knew that was going to happen because first base was open," Mateo said. "The game that I was having, I knew they weren't going to pitch to me."

Three batters later, Runey Davis put the game out of reach with a grand slam after striking out in each of his first five at-bats.

"That was great. We keep telling these guys that you never give up until the last out is made," Ramirez said. "Runey struck out five times, but he never gave up. And him hitting that grand slam was huge for us."

Reliever Edwin Carl (2-1) retired all three batters he faced in the ninth for the only 1-2-3 inning in a game that featured 29 hits.

Mateo was still the man of the night. The native of the Dominican Republic who turned 20 on Wednesday signed with the Royals as a free agent in February 2008. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer and Arizona leagues, respectively.

Mateo doubled his previous career high in RBIs. He drove in four runs with a pair of doubles on Aug. 13, 2009. It also was the first five-hit game of his brief career. He went 4-for-4 and scored twice on July 6 against Casper.

In 42 games this season, Mateo is batting .319 with 12 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs.

Mateo accomplished most of his cycle against starter Gustavo Gomez, who allowed six runs on seven hits over four innings.

"I hit for the cycle in High-A when I played and it was a great feeling," Ramirez said. "I bet it's a great feeling for him. He also got eight RBIs -- that's even better."

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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