Austin Hays becomes the sixth Orioles player to hit for the cycle, doing so in six innings in 7-0 win over Nationals

The rain picked up its intensity again as Austin Hays stepped to the plate in the sixth inning, as if the sprinkler system in the sky could tell the Orioles outfielder was on fire. Even that water suppression system couldn’t stifle Hays, who promptly lashed the last remaining item on his checklist into left-center field.

The 26-year-old cruised into second base with a double, adding to his single, triple and home run earlier in the game. For some time, the rain that continued to fall on Hays while he soaked in applause at Camden Yards on Wednesday night was the only thing that stood in the way of him achieving history. A 44-minute delay gave way to a water-soaked resumption, but it was enough to give Hays a fourth at-bat.


Hays’ performance started innocently enough, with an infield single to lead off the first inning against Washington Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin. It escalated from there, with three straight extra-base hits a major part of Baltimore’s offensive outburst on the way to a 7-0 win, with inclement weather ending the contest after six innings.

During the first rain delay, catcher Robinson Chirinos joked with Hays, asking whether he wanted the game to resume so he’d have his opportunity at the plate. At the time, Hays said he cared more for the lead.


But when he strode to the plate in the sixth, it was impossible to cast the magnitude of the situation from his mind. He knew what one swing could achieve, so he looked for a hanging slider he could drive — and got it.

“Goosebumps hit me right as I was touching second base,” Hays said. “Nothing else to do but just point up to the sky and thank God for the opportunity.”

Hays became the sixth player in Orioles (31-39) history to hit for the cycle and the first since Jonathan Villar did so in 2019. He’s the first in that group — which includes legends Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. — to hit for a cycle in the first six innings of a game.

Hays also threw out a runner at third base in the first inning, another standout moment for the young outfielder — the kind of plays that have vaulted him into the All-Star Game conversation.

“That’s going to be shown nationally and on ‘SportsCenter,’ talked about tomorrow,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I hope that people recognize it and start looking into the kind of year he’s having, because he’s putting together a great first half.”

During the second rain delay, right-hander Tyler Wells tweeted his support for Hays to receive an All-Star nod. And he backed it up after throwing a career-high 95 pitches in five scoreless innings, calling Orioles fans to vote Hays into the Midsummer Classic.

“He’s been tearing it up this year,” Wells said. “Hopefully we can see him at the All-Star Game. ... He wants the big spots. He’s constantly striving to be the best he can possibly be. I think everyone in this clubhouse is pulling for him and hopefully Birdland is too.”

The Orioles' Austin Hays, left, is hugged by Trey Mancini after they scored on Mancini's homer during the sixth inning of a 7-0 win over the Nationals on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

In his second at-bat, Hays sent a homer over the left field fence before adding a stand-up triple off the right field wall in the fourth inning. Then the first rain delay came, giving Hays plenty of time to think about the moment.


A break in the weather gave Hays one more chance. And mere minutes after Hays’ feat, the rain intensified and sent Wednesday’s outing into another delay — this one leading to a premature conclusion. But Hays got that fourth at-bat, at least, and he didn’t miss the opportunity.

“He’s just the epitome of a gamer and a professional,” said Trey Mancini, who was the first player to hug Hays following his accomplishment after Mancini’s two-run homer plated both of them in the sixth. “He always grinds every at-bat out, and we saw tonight what can happen when you do that. I’m so proud of him.”

Around the horn

>> Right-hander Matt Harvey will begin a rehabilitation assignment with High-A Aberdeen on Thursday. The veteran starting pitcher has 13 games remaining on his 60-game suspension for “participating in the distribution of a prohibited drug of abuse,” which came to light during Harvey’s testimony in the February trial of former Los Angeles Angels employee Eric Kay for the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The earliest Harvey would be eligible for reinstatement with Triple-A Norfolk is July 7. In the meantime, he can pitch at lower levels in the minors.

>> Infielder Ramón Urías began baseball activities Wednesday, including some light swinging. “This is the first day getting him going back on track” after Urías’ left oblique injury, Hyde said.

>> Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who was demoted last week to Triple-A Norfolk, allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in his first five innings for the Tides. He entered out of the bullpen in the second inning and allowed all five runs in that frame before settling down.

Orioles players to hit for the cycle

Austin Hays, June 22, 2022


Jonathan Villar, Aug. 5, 2019

Felix Pie, Aug. 14, 2009

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Aubrey Huff, June 29, 2007

Cal Ripken Jr., May 6, 1984

Brooks Robinson, May 15, 1960



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