The 2019 season has been all about silver linings for the 60-91 Toronto Blue Jays.
Among the reasons for optimism has been the play of Cavan Biggio and the rookie second baseman had a career night Tuesday, hitting for the cycle with four RBIs in an 8-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
After striking out in the first inning, Biggio hit a first-pitch dinger over the centre-field wall in the third, singled and stole second in the sixth, doubled and stole third in the eighth and completed the cycle with a dramatic triple that drove in two runs in the ninth.
“Right after I hit it I just had a feeling that it wasn’t going to go out,” Biggio said of his triple during a Wednesday appearance on Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590. “I think if I wasn’t a triple shy of it I probably would have been watching it more, hoping it was going to go over the fence but after I hit it I was like, ‘Here’s my chance to do it,’ so I put my head down and ran as hard as I could.”
In addition to his speed, Biggio benefitted from Orioles centre fielder Mason Williams running face-first into the wall while attempting to make a catch.
“Very unfortunate what happened to Williams, but I mean I’ll take it,” Biggio said. “It’s a pretty small ballpark in general, not many places you can hit it to get a triple — maybe get a friendly hop out of a wall or the fence — but yeah, kind of a crazy play. He went out there trying to make a play and helped me get the triple.”
Biggio’s cycle was the 26th by a rookie in MLB history and just the third in Blue Jays franchise history, after Jeff Frye (Aug. 17, 2001) and Kelly Gruber (April 16, 1989).
Not only that but Biggio joined his father, Craig, in the cycle club as they became the second father-son duo in MLB history to each hit for the cycle at some point during their respective careers.
“I think he was pretty proud,” Biggio said of his dad. “When I got back to my phone he sent me a text after I called him and the text said, ‘Hey, congratulations, welcome to the club.’ I think he’s pretty proud of what he did in his career. Now he’s just being a proud dad right now watching me do what I love.”
Biggio has now reached base in 18 consecutive games and, as was the case Tuesday, he doesn’t stop working once he’s on base.
The 24-year-old also became the first player to hit for the cycle while also stealing two bases in a game since Charlie Moore did it back in 1980.
Naturally, Biggio says he learned the tools of the trade from his dad, who stole 414 bases during his Hall-of-Fame career.
“He was a burner and he stole a lot of bases, but I think he got away with stealing more bags with faster pitches just because of how fast he was,” Biggio said of his dad’s technique. “I never had that type of speed, so for me to steal bases I’ve had to learn how to pick my spots and go when the time presents itself the best. … I think when pitchers see me on first base they know I’ve got good speed but not like crazy good speed so they try to keep me honest over there.
“But I think they get a little bit lazy with trying to keep me on and they don’t think I’m gonna go, and then all of a sudden I take second base or third base.”
As for the remaining 11 games of the regular season, Biggio said he’s simply “going to continue doing the same thing, have fun, try to get better and try to help my team win.”