CLEVELAND — For a couple minutes during the eighth inning, Asdrubal Cabrera appeared to be the first Indians’ player to hit for the cycle since 2003, but the official scorer had other ideas.
Cabrera’s hit to right field, which scored David Murphy, appeared to be a triple but the official scorer called it a double with Cabrera advancing to third when Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier threw home on the relay. The scoreboard at Progressive Field put up a graphic that Cabrera had hit for the cycle but that was before the scorer’s ruling was announced.
The Indians shortstop was 4 for 5 with three RBI in Thursday’s 9-4 victory over the Twins. Cabrera homered in the second, singled in the fifth and had a double in the seventh. It is the 12th time he has had four or more hits in a game and the first since May 5, 2012, against Texas.
After the game, Terry Francona said he wouldn’t be surprised if the ruling got changed to a triple because Cabrera never hesitated or broke stride in going to third.
Outfielder Michael Brantley also had the same assessment.
"He worked hard for that. Those don’t come every day," Brantley said. "He ran the whole time, didn’t look back, didn’t stutter step. I want it for him. He deserves it."
To change a scorer’s ruling, a request has to come from the team or the player’s agent.
Cabrera’s average had fallen to .202 during Wednesday’s game as he was hitless in 13 straight at-bats, but with six hits in his last seven it is up to .238. Cabrera scored the winning run in Wednesday’s 4-3 win after leading off the ninth with a double, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and coming home on a two-out single from Mike Aviles.
Added Brantley about Cabrera: "He’s been working his tail off in the batting cage with early batting practice. Hopefully it continues to pay off."
The only one who didn’t talk about the scorer’s ruling or the game was Cabrera, who declined all interview requests. For now, Travis Hafner remains the last Cleveland player to hit for the cycle, when he did it on Aug. 14, 2003, at Minnesota.