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Siri cycles into Pioneer League record book

Reds prospect homers, singles during 10-run eighth to complete feat
July 4, 2016

As the eighth inning got underway for Rookie-level Billings on Monday, Jose Siri hit a leadoff homer over the left-field wall. Six runs and eight batters later, he made history in somewhat quieter fashion.

The Cincinnati outfield prospect singled with one out in the eighth to complete the cycle as the Mustangs rolled past the Helena Brewers, 20-7, at Dehler Park. He became the first Billings player to complete the feat since Bryson Smith on Aug. 31, 2011.

Siri entered the Independence Day tilt batting .400 in 13 Pioneer League games since returning from a brief stint with Class A Dayton. He was 8-for-15 in three starts coming into the game after batting .145 in 27 games for the Dragons.

"It's very satisfying to see the player make adjustments the way he's been doing lately," Billings manager Ray Martinez said. "He's been swinging the bat great of late and has done a very good job of adjusting and staying within himself.

"He's red-hot right now. It seems everything he hits just finds a gap or a hole."

Siri fanned in his first at-bat, but lined a double to center field to lead off the third inning against Helena starter Zack Brown. One frame later, he greeted reliever Jordan Desguin with a triple into the gap in left-center.

The center fielder went quietly his next time up, popping out to second to end the fifth. When Siri stepped to the plate to lead off the eighth, Desguin had been replaced with Jack Finnegan. The Dominican Republic native punished an elevated curveball from the right-hander for his first homer of 2016.

Siri's teammates promptly racked up six runs against Finnegan, who recorded a lone out.

"The team has been playing together really well," Martinez said of his team's offensive outpouring. "We've been swinging the bats good and putting good AB's together. Even when we get out, they're hard hits."

Needing just a single, Siri drove another pitch from Finnegan in front of Brewers left fielder Weston Wilson to complete the Pioneer League's first cycle of the young season. It just didn't occur to the 20-year-old right fielder right away.

"I don't think he [knew] until after because when he got to third [on a walk by Montrell Marshall], he didn't mention it," Martinez said. "We were just going around, I guess that inning we hit the ball pretty well.

"It's very tough to get one hit in an inning and I can only imagine doing that for the cycle. It's not very usual that you see things like that. It was pretty wild to see."

After the game, one of Siri's teammates broke the news to him.

"He was almost numb a little bit," Martinez said of Siri's reaction. "But he'll realize more what he did tomorrow, and know that that doesn't happen too often."

Hector Vargas added three hits -- including a two-run homer -- and three RBIs for the Mustangs, while 2016 first-round pick Taylor Trammell went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and four runs scored.

The offense made a winner of right-hander Patrick Rhiel (2-0), who gave up one run on three hits and a walk over 2 1/3 frames in relief of starter Andrew Jordan.

Brown (0-2) surrendered five runs on six hits and three walks and fanned three over three innings for Helena.

Brewers second-round pick Lucas Erceg contributed two hits and three RBIs while scoring twice.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.