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Arozarena cycles in Redbirds' slugfest

Cardinals No. 13 prospect completes feat by fifth inning
Randy Arozarena has scored at least one run in eight straight games, hitting .367 over that stretch. (Lianna Holub/MiLB.com)
July 26, 2019

Randy Arozarena needed only half a ballgame to make history on Friday night.The Cardinals' No. 13 prospect ripped a two-run triple in the fifth inning to complete the third cycle in franchise history as Triple-A Memphis outslugged Oklahoma City, 13-10, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. He finished the night 4-for-6 with

Randy Arozarena needed only half a ballgame to make history on Friday night.
The Cardinals' No. 13 prospect ripped a two-run triple in the fifth inning to complete the third cycle in franchise history as Triple-A Memphis outslugged Oklahoma City, 13-10, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. He finished the night 4-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

"First four at-bats, get it in, get it out, right?" Redbirds manager Ben Johnson said with a laugh. "I really wasn't keeping track of it, to be honest. Then he hit the triple, he stood up and said, 'That's for the cycle!'" 
Hitting leadoff, the 24-year-old from Havana used small ball to get his big night started. Arozarena beat out a bunt to third base on the second pitch of the game and prompty stole second. He came around to score when Cards No. 24 prospect Ramón Urías hit a booming double to right-center field.
Arozarena led off the third with a double, tagging Oklahoma City starter and Dodgers No. 8 prospectMitchell White with a drive to left. He scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by 12th-ranked Edmundo Sosa. In the fourth, he sent the second pitch he saw from the right-hander over the left-center fence for a two-run homer, getting Memphis within 6-5. 
Gameday box score
It set the stage for Arozarena in the fifth. With Memphis' first seven batters reaching safely to start the inning, he came up with two on and nobody out. The 2018 Futures Game participant watched ball one from reliever Shea Spitzbarth, then turned on the next pitch and ripped it down the left-field line. He challenged Zach Reks, who dug the ball out of the corner but could not get Arozarena, who slid headfirst into the bag and fist-pumped before pointing to the Redbirds dugout. The two-run triple capped a seven-run outburst.
"This game meant a lot," Johnson said. "Not just to have an accomplishment like that, but Randy is the type of person who really cares about what he's doing. He plays the game hard and the right way. It was big for him, but it was big for our entire club."
The cycle was the second in as many days in the Pacific Coast League and the second in as many seasons for Memphis. El Paso's Jason Vosler accomplished the feat in Thursday's 15-9 win at Las Vegas, while Luke Voit did the same in the Redbirds' 13-2 rout of Iowa on July 1, 2018.  

In his second stint at the Triple-A level, Arozarena has a .355/.431/.533 slash line with six homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games. He's also played 28 games with Double-A Springfield, where he batted .309/.422/.515 with three homers and 15 RBIs. His success this season mirrors his work ethic, according to Johnson.
"Randy shows up day in and day out," he said. "He has a routine that he sticks to. He's seeing the ball really well, he's using all of the field and staying with himself at the plate. It's attributing to a lot of things, but at the end of the day Randy is a hard worker and he's reaping the benefits."
With the Cardinals surging into a one-game lead in the National League Central Division, Johnson also didn't rule out the possibility of Randy making his big league debut later this season. 

"He could help our Major League club in a lot of ways," the manager said. "He brings a lot of skill to the table. With that being said, our big league club has a lot of talent there, too. But I think at some point, if the fit were right, Randy could definitely go up and help our Major League club without a question."
For Memphis, both Urias and seventh-ranked prospect Lane Thomas turned in three-hit nights, with Thomas swatting a solo homer and driving in four runs. No. 25 prospect Max Schrock singled twice and drove in a run.
Reks went 2-for-3 with four RBIs for Oklahoma City. Top Dodgers prospect Gavin Lux chipped in two hits and Shane Peterson drilled a two-run homer. 

Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.