This Day In Astros History: Aug. 2, 1972

Hey, another big day in team history, as 39 years ago, Cesar Cedeno hit for the cycle in a 10-1 victory over the Reds at the Astrodome.

Cedeno is the only player in team history to hit for the cycle twice as an Astro. This was his first time while his second came almost four years to the day later (but we'll get to that later). In this game, Cedeno went 4 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs scored from the second spot in the order. It raised his batting average to .352 and his OPS to .992. He finished the season with an OPS+ of 162, the highest of his career. Only Billy Williams, Johnny Bench and Willie Stargell had a higher OPS+ than Cedeno, and he was just 21 years old in this season.

Before we get into how Cedeno got to the cycle, I'll just note that Don Wilson pitched a complete game to get the victory. The middle of this order (Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn and Lee May) was pretty potent, with all three players owning OPS's over .870. Of course, that "middle" was actually the 2-3-4 spots, because Bob Watson was just at .836 (slacker). 

Back to the cycle, Cedeno picked up a double in his first at-bat off Reds starter Gary Nolan. He wasn't able to move past second, however, as Wynn flew out and May struck out to follow. Cedeno then picked up his home run in the bottom of the third, scoring Tommy Helms to make it 2-0 Astros.

In the bottom of the fifth, Cedeno added a single, scoring Roger Metzger, who led off the inning with a triple. The Astros sent nine men to the plate in this inning, scoring three more runs to make it 6-1. He was also thrown out for the 11th time of the season just after picking up the single. Interestingly, Cedeno would get caught 10 more times in '72 to lead the league, which means he had a really bad last two months on the base paths.

Needing the hardest part for the cycle (the triple), Cedeno grounded out to short in the bottom of the sixth. He got one more chance in the bottom of the eight. He again batted second in the inning after Metzger singled off Pedro Borbon to lead off the frame. Cedeno hit a fly ball to the right-center gap, which apparently scooted through on that AstroTurf to give Cheo a chance for the triple. Wynn brought him home on a sacrifice fly.

Here's the graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.

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