Tracy Ringolsby

Kemp begins new cycle for Padres franchise

Veteran hits club's first cycle; Friars still searching for a no-no

Kemp begins new cycle for Padres franchise

Check off another box on the Padres' to-do list.

On Friday night at Coors Field, in the 7,444th game in Padres history, Matt Kemp became the first Friars player to hit for the cycle. With Kemp's effort, the Miami Marlins are the only big league team to have never had a player hit for the cycle.

However, San Diego remains the only team without a no-hitter. The Padres also have never won a World Series championship, but seven other Major League teams are also still looking for their first title: the Rockies, Brewers, Expos/Nationals, Astros, Senators/Rangers, Mariners and Rays.

The Expos/Nationals and Mariners have never even played in a World Series. The Mariners did win an American League-record 116 games in 2001, tying the Major League mark the Cubs set in 1906.

Kemp saved the hardest part for the last. He homered in the first inning of San Diego's 9-5 victory, singled in the third, grounded out in the fifth and doubled in the seventh before tripling off the top of the center-field fence in the ninth.

The hard part? Well, a Padres player had come up one hit shy of the cycle 361 times before Kemp, including 258 times when a triple was the missing ingredient.

There are two teams who have a cycle drought predating the existence of the Marlins, who came into existence as part of the 1993 expansion: the Reds (Eric Davis on June 2, 1989) and the Royals (George Brett on July 25, 1990).

Coors comfort
It shouldn't be a total surprise that Kemp hit for the cycle at Coors Field, where 14 players have accomplished the feat since the park opened in 1995. That is the most of any stadium since the creation of the Padres as an expansion team in '69. There have been 18 cycles all-time at Fenway Park, but only eight since '69. There have been only 10 hit all-time at Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914 -- two years after Fenway Park.

Coors hasn't played favorites. Kemp became the seventh visiting player to hit for the cycle, and second this season. Shin-Soo Choo of the Rangers hit for the cycle at Coors Field on July 21.

Must C: Choo hits for the cycle

But then Kemp has enjoyed hitting at Coors Field during his career. He has a .331 career average at Coors Field, the third best among parks in which he has played at least 15 games, behind only Citizens Bank Park (.383) and Citi Field (.345). Kemp's 15 home runs at Coors are the most he has hit in any park as a visitor, four more than Chase Field. He has 19 doubles at Coors Field, tops for a visiting park, and four ahead of AT&T Park. Kemp's five triples are second among visiting parks, two fewer than he has hit at AT&T.

There were 142 cycles hit between San Diego's first game in 1969 and Kemp becoming the first Padres player to hit for the cycle on Friday. The Giants and Twins both had 10 players accomplish the feat during that time.

No, no, no
The Padres have had 28 one-hitters in franchise history, but never a no-hitter. The closest a San Diego pitcher came was when Chris Young held the Pirates hitless for 8 1/3 innings on Sept. 22, 2006. But after walking Jose Bautista, Young gave up a two-run home run to Joe Randa. He wound up pitching 8 2/3 innings and getting the 6-2 victory, having allowed that one hit.

The most controversial near no-hitter in Padres history came on July 21, 1970. Clay Kirby had a no-hitter through eight innings against the Mets, but trailed, 1-0, because he walked Tommie Agee (the first batter of the game) , who stole second and third, then scored on a ground out.

So with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, San Diego manager Preston Gomez sent Cito Gaston up to hit for Kirby. Not only did Gaston strike out against James McAndrew, but reliever Jack Baldschun allowed three hits, including a leadoff single by Bud Harrelson, and two runs in the top of the ninth.

Kirby had a no-hitter through seven innings on Sept. 18, 1971, but gave up a leadoff home run to Willie McCovey in the eighth inning. Kirby did, however, earn a 2-1 victory in that game.

Happy anniversary
Fifty years ago Wednesday, Reds starter Jim Maloney tossed a no-hitter in a 1-0, 10-inning victory over the Cubs. Leo Cardenas homered in the top of the 10th inning for the game's only run. Earlier in the season, Maloney no-hit the Mets for 10 innings, but he lost that no-hitter and game when Johnny Lewis homered in the 11th inning.

• From the creation of the Major Leagues in 1901 until Friday night, there had been 267 cycles and 248 complete-game no-hitters in MLB history.

• This year, there have been four of each. Kemp, Choo, Adrian Beltre and Brock Holt have hit for the cycle. Hisashi Iwakuma (on Wednesday), Chris Heston, Cole Hamels and Max Scherzer threw no-hitters.

Must C: Iwakuma pitches a no-no

• Beltre's cycle was the record-tying third of his career. John Reilly, Babe Herman and Bob Meusel also hit for the cycle three times.

• Beltre has hit all three of his cycles at Globe Life Park in Arlington -- twice as a member of the Rangers and once as a visiting player with the Mariners. He's the only player to have a cycle as a home player and visitor in the same park.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.