Brandon Barnes has been garnering attention this season with his numerous outstanding catches in center field. On Friday, it was at the plate that Barnes excelled, becoming only the eighth Astros player to hit for the cycle.
Barnes went 5-for-5 to show another side of his talents. But Barnes’ heroics, as well as a 16-hit Houston attack, weren’t enough. The Astros lost 10-7 at Minute Maid Park to the Seattle Mariners, who hit four home runs and extended their franchise-record streak of hitting a home run to 23 consecutive games.
In his first full season with the Astros, hitting for the cycle ranks high on Barnes’ career accomplishments.
“It’s got to be one of the top moments,” said Barnes, who scored three runs and had two RBIs. “I’m thankful I had the opportunity to do it.”
This was the second time in Barnes’ professional career he hit for the cycle. He did it while playing at Lancaster.
“That’s a great feat,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “It doesn’t happen in our game every day. To accomplish it in a major league game is pretty impressive and couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
The inning that Barnes got the cycle, an eighth-inning double, the Astros as a team hit for the cycle. Justin Maxwell singled, Brett Wallace homered and Jose Altuve tripled.
“It was fun to watch Barnes have a great game tonight,” said Maxwell, who had two hits on Friday and who was on first base when Barnes doubled down the right-field line. “I was thinking, ‘All he needs is a double.’ And then the ball headed down the line.
“I was running to third and I was like, ‘Run.’ When I hit the bag (third base) I immediately turned around. It was great. He had a good slide to get in there at second base. I’m happy for him.”
It was obvious Barnes wanted the cycle. When he eluded the tag at second base for his fourth hit of the game and saw the safe call, he immediately gave a fist pump.
“When it was there I had to go for it,” said Barnes, who raised his batting average 18 points to .250. “I’m just excited I had the opportunity to do it and was able to do it. I was aware of it.”
Barnes was spraying the ball. He hit both gaps with power and went opposite field for the double.
Barnes hit his fifth home run of the season, measured at 415 feet, in the second inning off winning pitcher Joe Saunders(9-8) to give the Astros a 1-0 lead on his first hit. Barnes tripled in Maxwell in the fourth inning and singled in the sixth inning. He got the cycle off Danny Farquhar with his eighth-inning double. Three of Barnes’ hits came off Saunders.
Luke Scott was the last Astro to hit for the cycle on July 28, 2006 vs. Arizona. The last Astro right-hander to have hit for the cycle was Craig Biggio on April 8, 2002 at Colorado. Barnes’ five hits were the most by an Astro since Hunter Pence went 5-for-5 on May 27, 2008 at St. Louis.
To complete an outstanding game, Barnes added an infield single in the ninth inning. He’s showing he’s more than just a defensive player.
“I’m not worried on how I’m perceived, whether I’m a defensive player or offensive player,” said Barnes. “I’m a guy that wants to go out there and play hard and try to win.”