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Mavericks' Romero hits for the cycle

Jethawks fall despite hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs
May 22, 2012
Stefen Romero's moment of glory was short-lived on Tuesday.

"It was a little bittersweet, because the next batter hit a grand slam," Romero laughed.

Romero was standing on first base, soaking in the realization that he'd just hit for the cycle. His teammates over in the High Desert dugout were going nuts. Then, seconds later, Mickey Wiswall was trotting up the first-base line.

"He didn't even know I hit for the cycle," Romero said. "He's like, 'Good job.'" Everyone was like, 'Way to take Romero's shine.'"

The Mavericks -- and it was pretty much everyone in their lineup -- got to share in some aspect of the fun as the Mariners affiliate beat Lancaster, 12-8, with four homers and 16 hits, four of which came off the bat of Romero.

"Everyone in the dugout was yelling and giving me fist bumps and then Mickey hit a grand slam, so it's like, 'Why'd you have to do that at that time?'" Romero said with a laugh.

Romero became the first player to hit for the cycle in the Minors when he singled with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.

"That was big at that time, we were up 12-3, so that lasted a couple minutes," Romero said of his cycle-clincher moment. "And then Mickey hits a grand slam and he took the shine for a minute."

Turns out, Wiswall's slam in a 12-3 game actually turned out to be fairly important -- Lancaster also tried to upstage Romero in the bottom of the eighth when George Springer, Adam Bailey and Domingo Santana hit back-to-back-to-back homers off Mavs reliever Jonathan Arias.

Just another afternoon in the California League.

"I don't think I've ever seen back-to-back-to-back homers, so that's a first for me," Romero said. "There was a lot of offense today."

Romero, who struck out in his first at-bat, doubled and scored in the third, hit a two-run homer in the fourth, tripled and scored in the seventh and finished the cycle with an RBI single in the eighth. He scored his fourth run of the game on Wiswall's fourth homer.

It was the first cycle for High Desert since Denny Almonte did it last Aug. 24 at Visalia.

For Romero, it's been a memorable week -- on May 12, the third baseman was the main attraction when he hit a walk-off grand slam and had six RBIs to beat Rancho Cucamonga.

So what's cooler to do, hit a walk-off slam or hit for the cycle?

"Team-wise, I'll go with the walk-off grand slam 'cause we were down by three, ninth inning, two out, at home and it was fireworks night, so the crowd was insane," said Romero, a Tucson, Ariz., native drafted out of Oregon State in 2010. "It was a packed house and to just to enjoy that with my teammates afterward was one of my greatest experiences I've ever felt."

"Today it's more like an individual thing I guess," he added. "When I got the single -- everyone knew I needed a single. Bases loaded, there was no other way I could get a hit. Me and Pedro [Grifol], my manager, were joking after I got the triple. He said, 'Next at-bat, just get a base-hit single.' I said, 'Alright.'

And just that easily, he went up and singled off reliever Kirk Clark, who had just entered the game for Lancaster.

"I thought, no shot I'm getting a single here, with two strikes, I took that two-strike approach with the bases loaded and hit a jam-shot single in the six hole," he said.

Romero said his first hit, a double, was an uninspiring blooper over first.

"I thought, 'Whatever, I'm not hitting the ball too well today, just put it in play, just try to hit the ball hard.'"

And so he did, with a two-run homer off Lancaster starter Tyson Perez in the fourth. His triple -- the second one he's hit in his last eight games -- started giving him some optimism.

"I just hit it right down the line, the third-base line, and right off the bat, I started sprinting out of the box," he said. "I thought, 'Cool, two doubles in one game,' but after that my mind went for a triple.

"After the triple and homer, that's all I was thinking of -- I might have a shot at the cycle. The triple is the hardest thing."

Romero, Seattle's 12th-round pick in 2010, is batting .350 this season following the four-hit night. He was a Organization All-Star last season after hitting .280 with 16 homers and 65 RBIs for Class A Clinton. This season, he has no complaints.

"Our team's in first place and when your team is doing well, your stats just follow, and that goes for a lot of guys on our team as well," he said. "The first two months are usually where we're getting by on adrenaline, but these next two months you have to stay consistent and prepared."

Brad Miller and Jack Marder also homered for High Desert, while Santana led the way for Lancaster with a pair of home runs.

Danny Wild is an editor for