SAN DIEGO — It took Eduardo Escobar an extended time to heat up this season. But in becoming the primary Mets player to hit for the cycle since 2012, which he did in his team’s 11-5 win over the San Diego Padres on Monday night, it seemed as if he might never stop hitting.
Any time a player hits for the cycle, Manager Buck Showalter said, “it’s fun to observe. But especially him. You realize how much he means to his teammates. It’s almost like they hit it.”
Escobar belted a two-run single in the primary inning against Padres starter Blake Snell. He whacked a double to guide off the fourth inning against Snell. He slugged a two-run home run against reliever Craig Stammen within the eighth after which seized the cycle dramatically with a two-run triple off reliever Tim Hill within the ninth.
In keeping with Stats Perform, Escobar was the primary player in major league history to get a cycle with a homer within the eighth and a triple within the ninth.
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It was the Mets’ first cycle since Scott Hairston did it in 2012, and Escobar knew when he stepped into the box exactly where he was and what he needed. He said when the ball dropped onto the precise field grass, he was sprinting for third base regardless.
“I used to be joyful he did,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “Those don’t come too often.”
“I used to be really joyful for what he did tonight,” said starter Carlos Carrasco, who struck out 10 while allowing just two runs over seven innings in positioning the Mets for his or her third win in the primary five games of this 10-game western trip.
Escobar’s energy is contagious and his personality infectious. Long a well-liked clubhouse presence in Minnesota, Arizona and Milwaukee, Escobar signed a two-year, $20 million cope with the Mets on Dec. 1, just ahead of the lockout. After a tepid start, Escobar hit just .212 within the month of May. But he’s now 20 for 60 (.333) over his past 14 games.
And his past two games are trending even higher.
It was Escobar’s sacrifice fly at the top of a grueling 10-pitch at-bat within the eighth inning on Sunday in Los Angeles that briefly gave the Mets a 3-2 lead before the Dodgers tied it and the Mets won 5-4 within the tenth. He fouled off five pitches throughout the at-bat against Brusdar Graterol, including 4 in a row before driving home a run.
“I feel his teammates will inform you that at-bat yesterday may need been top-of-the-line of the yr,” Showalter said. “It type of typifies the instance everybody tries to set and follow.”
Then got here Monday’s series-opener in San Diego and a 4 for five night with six R.B.I. It was the eleventh overall cycle in Mets history, and the primary by any player within the 19-year history of Petco Park.
Escobar credited hitting coach Eric Chavez and his teammates for helping push him through the doldrums earlier within the season when he was fighting to get right into a groove on the plate. “Your moment is coming,” he said several told him.
They were speaking in the final sense, after all. But Monday proved to be one other special moment in a string of them to date this season for the Mets.
“It adds to the journey,” Lindor said.
Escobar was greeted by a standing ovation from a small contingent of Mets fans who had gathered behind the Petco Park visitors’ dugout for an impromptu celebration.
Yes, Escobar noticed them.
“Great moment,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Then the dugout exploded upon his arrival when the inning was over.
“Very quietly, he’s reverting to his track record,” Showalter said. “That’s why you trust guys like him which have such good makeup and a lot want-to. He gets frustrated, but he never takes it out in field and never takes it into clubhouse. He’s example for everyone.
“I feel everybody takes a bit of special emotion out of it. It was pretty fun within the clubhouse. His statement about ‘I’m pleased with you’ on a regular basis, they dropped it on him tonight.”