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The Closer: When One Single Beats The Cycle

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Vicious Cycle. Jose Reyes wasn't sure what type of hit would win it for the Mets, so he gave them one of everything. But even though he hit for the cycle, it wasn't enough, because Billy Wagner blew the save in the ninth. The Reds ended up winning 6-5. Brandon Phillips' two-out, two-run single won it for Cincinnati. Reyes became the ninth Met to hit for the cycle; the last to do it being the immortal Eric Valent in 2004.


2. But We Kid The Twins Fans ... Received an e-mail last night: Hello, I am a Twins fan. Lately, they have been playing great baseball, and I feel as if they deserve a spot in your next edition on the Closer. Sincerely, Twins Fan. We agree, so here it is. Shortstop Adam Everett (career average: .251) had two doubles and two RBI to lead the Astros over the Twins 5-3, snapping Minnesota's eight-game winning streak.

3. The Two Days That Never Were. Ever stick yourself with a toothpick to make sure you're not dreaming? Our variation of that last night involved a wooden stake and a mallet. In a game we can only categorize as "an improvement on Tuesday," the White Sox collected 16 hits in a 13-5 win over the Cardinals. For Chicago, that's 33 runs on 40 hits over the two days. Man, it's a good thing these interleague games don't count.

4. For Whom The Beltre Tolls. The Mariners were becoming disatisfied with their latest purchase and were about to start complaining, but it looks like everything's going to be all right. Former Dodger Adrian Beltre drove in the go-head run with a two-run double in the eigth as the Mariners beat Los Angeles 8-5. Beltre signed a five-year, $64 million contract with the Mariners in 2005 and had been struggling, but has now hit safely in 18 of his past 20 games.

5. Ten Minutes To Wapner. The Braves endured their ninth straight loss — their longest losing streak since 1988 (top grossing film, Rain Man) — as the Blue Jays took a 6-3 win. Atlanta has lost 19 of 22, including a 2-17 mark in June. It trails first-place New York by 14 1/2 games in the NL East.

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