Denver – As Troy Tulowitzki headed for second, the words of teammate Brad Hawpe echoed in his head.
“We were sitting on the bench together and he was telling me, ’If you get anywhere close to getting a triple you better go,”’ Tulowitzki said. “I honestly think if it weren’t for him I would have stopped at second.”
Tulowitzki gambled and sprinted for third on his hit down the left-field line in the seventh, sliding headfirst into third to complete the first cycle in his young career. He had a night to remember, getting five hits with a career-high seven RBI to help Colorado beat the Chicago Cubs, 11-5, on Monday night.
“That’s a pretty good career for some guys,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “Just a tremendous offensive performance.”
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Tulowitzki, who had a home run denied in the first video review at Coors Field, came to bat to lead off the seventh a triple shy of the franchise’s fifth cycle and first in nine years. He laced a 3-2 pitch down the left-field line and slid headfirst into the bag before third baseman Jake Fox could corral the throw from left.
“I thought I was going to be out, but I keep going back to Hawpe,” he said. “He said he would have been upset if I didn’t try.”
Tulowitzki hit his 21st homer in the first, singled in the second and doubled in the fourth in his first three at-bats. He added a two-run single in the eighth.
When he came out to play the field in the eighth inning, the crowd of 34,485 gave him a standing ovation.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever have a game like this ever in my career,” he said. “Not too many people can say they had a cycle in the big leagues.”
It was the sixth cycle in the majors this season.
“He achieved something that’s not easy to do,” teammate Todd Helton said. “I’m proud of him and very happy to be able to have a front-row seat to watch that tonight.”
Helton had three singles to extend his hitting streak to 15 games and Jorge De La Rosa struck out 11 for the Rockies, who took three of the four games in the wraparound series with the Cubs.
Tulowitzki had a chance at more RBI, but a review of his high fly ball with the bases loaded in the second inning went against him.