Four years ago in the Arizona Fall League, Jason Donald came through with a late double to record a cycle -- only to find out that his triple was scored as a single and an error.
On Tuesday, he did it again. But this time, the box score backed him up.
Donald hit a ninth-inning double with two outs to complete a cycle and cap a four-RBI day, helping the Triple-A Columbus Clippers to a 13-2 rout of the Charlotte Knights
The cycle is the second in the International League this year -- Indianapolis' Jeff Clement did it on June 2 -- and the seventh overall in the Minors. The last Clipper to hit for the cycle was Jason Kipnis, who accomplished the feat on Sept. 17, 2010 in Game 4 of the International League Championship Series.
"It's definitely a cool feeling without a doubt," Donald said. "It's something I've never done I think my whole entire life -- in high school, college and into pro ball. I'll probably look back on it when my career's done or years from now and say that's something I accomplished."
Donald recorded three hits in the first three innings -- the home run, triple and single -- before going hitless in his next two at-bats. The 27-year-old shortstop was not due up to bat in the ninth, but Jared Goedert drew a leadoff walk and Tim Fedroff hit a two-out single to get him to the plate.
"Our whole lineup kept swinging the bats pretty well," Donald said. "They gave me a chance tonight to do that. ... When Fed got that base hit in the ninth with two outs, our whole dugout was got pretty excited that I'd have another chance."
Donald said after his first three hits, he tried too hard to get the double. The reason he got it in his final plate appearance was that he wasn't specifically looking for it.
"I felt like in the my two at-bats previously, I was too concerned with trying to hit a double, which is really impossible to do," Donald said. "It's a process and an approach. I was so concerned with the result and trying to hit a double that obviously I wasn't getting close. I just tried to simplify it and compete."
The home run came in Donald's first at-bat, when he took a 2-2 pitch from Knights starter Anthony Carter to left-center field. He then tripled to lead off the third and added a two-out single later in the seven-run frame.
According to Donald, his teammates started to get on his case after his first two hits.
"When I came back to the dugout after I scored, they said 'Hey, you got the two hardest ones out of the way,'" Donald said. "They just made it sound so easy. They just said, 'All you have to do is hit a single and a double.' It didn't dawn on me until I got the single in my third at-bat. That's when I legitimately felt like, OK, I'm one swing away from this thing."
Donald, who has spent time in the Majors in each of the past three seasons, is hitting .302 with 12 extra-base hits in 31 games for Columbus. After a night like Tuesday, how does he top himself in his next game?
"I think this is one of those things that you can't really top," Donald said. "Tonight was just -- like any good night that a hitter has -- the result of having a good approach and finding holes. ... Every day in this game is different. Whether I don't get any hits tomorrow or hit for another cycle, you never know. That's the interesting part of this game, that's the challenging part of this game."