Gio Brusa

Down on the Farm: Two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in same game


Down on the Farm: Two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in same game

Lightning struck twice Wednesday night in Lancaster. 

In a game where the offense put together 25 hits, one off the team record, two San Jose Giants hit for the cycle in the same game as part of their 18-6 win over the Night Hawks. Gio Brusa and Jalen Miller became the fourth and fifth players in San Jose’s 31-year history to accomplish the rare feat. 

Every kid rides their first bicycle. No baseball team has a bi-cycle. One team having two players hit for the cycle in the same game has never been done in Major League Baseball history. According to statistician Ryan Spaeder, this has never even happened with two players on opposing teams in the same game in MLB history. Data currently does not show if this has ever been done in the minors. 

Brusa, who entered the game with only four hits on the season, put his name in the record books first with his 4-for-6 night. The local product from the University of Pacific came out swinging and knocked a home run in the first inning, singled in the second, doubled in the fourth, and then capped off his cycle by tripling in the eighth. 

The Giants’ leading home run hitter from last season attributed his cycle to getting in the right mindset through his faith earlier in the day. 

"Honestly, I'm going to have to say my faith," Brusa told after the game. "Today I had a great devotional, and it was all about the verse, 'Today is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.' It's very easy to look at the big scheme of things, but it just kind of really planted me in today and grounded me to focus and enjoy each and every pitch, each up, each down, each twist and turn."

Miller tied the San Jose single-game record with five hits and ignited the team’s offensive onslaught, knocking in the first run of the game on a RBI single in the first inning. The infielder singled again in his next at-bat, doubled in the sixth, and homered in the eighth. 

Hitting a triple is by far the hardest and most unlikely part of a cycle. And yet on this magic night, Miller’s triple in the ninth gave him the cycle and meant both he and Brusa’s last leg of the cycle came on a triple. 

"When I got on third, no one knew that I had actually hit for the cycle." Miller said to "One of my teammates, [pitcher] Mac Marshall, he looked at me from the dugout and mouthed, 'Cycle?' I shook my head in a 'yes' way, and after the inning, we all celebrated. It was pretty cool."

The last San Jose Giant to hit for the cycle was Thomas Neal in 2009. The two other Giants to hit for the cycle are Carlos Valderrama in 2002 and Kevin Frandsen in 2005. 

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

Down on the Farm: Giants prospects who shined in Bumgarner's rehab starts

After missing nearly three months, it looks like Madison Bumgarner is finally ready to make his fifth big league start of the season. The Giants’ ace is scheduled to return to the hill in San Diego on Saturday after making four rehab starts at three different levels. 

While Bumgarner was attracting sellout crowds to mixed results, prospects were trying to make an impression with the front office in attendance. Here is who stood out among Giants minor leaguers in each of Bumgarner’s rehab starts. 

June 25, Arizona Rookie League Giants 

— Well, it can only go up from here. The AZL Giants were without top picks Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez, who are hitting a combined .441 (30-for-68), and only managed three hits in Bumgarner’s first return to the mound. 

— Aside from Bumgarner, the biggest news was the return of Steven Duggar. In his first game of the season, the Giants’ sixth-round pick from 2015 went 0-for-2. 

June 30, Sacramento River Cats 

— Orlando Calixte jumped at the opportunity with big names in San Francisco’s brass watching. Leading off and playing third base, Calixte went 3-for-5 with a home run in the first inning, a double, two RBI and one run scored. The 25-year-old has now played every position aside from catcher and first base this year and has 10 home runs. 

— Chris Shaw didn’t go deep, but he did finish the game 2-for-5 at the plate, one day after smacking two balls over the wall. This was the third game of an eight-game hitting streak and he’s continued to do all the Giants have hoped for and more this season. 

— At 33 years old, Juan Ciriaco isn’t a name you will hear a lot. He’s one of the veterans still plugging away in the minors, but he did enjoy a 3-for-4 day with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored with Bumgarner on the bump. 

July 5, San Jose Giants 

— Ryan Howard, who I recently wrote about as a potential next Matt Duffy for the Giants, looked just like that while Bumgarner was shelled in San Jose. Howard roped a RBI double in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-3 in the loss. The shortstop who is known more for his bat, later displayed some impressive glove work in Bumgarner’s final rehab start with San Jose too. 

— San Jose only scored one run on six hits. Aside from Howard, Gio Brusa, a local product from the University of the Pacific, was the only other hitter to have a multi-hit night. Brusa went 2-for-4 with a double of his own and scored one run. 

July 10, San Jose Giants

— Bumgarner’s final rehab start went much better for himself and for the Giants’ Advanced Single-A affiliate, despite a 4-2 loss. At the top of the order and playing center field, Ronnie Jebavy drove in a run in a nice 2-for-4 night. The speedy outfielder was hampered by injuries early, but is now rounding into form and is slashing .285/.318/.390 in 29 games. 

— Jalen Miller, the Giants’ third-round pick in 2015, is having a rough year in San Jose. The middle infielder is only hitting .219, but enjoyed one of his best games in front of a sold out crowd. Miller hit his sixth home run of the season, going deep in back-to-back games, and ended with 2-for-4 showing. 

Down on the Farm: San Jose Giants now stacked with 2016 outfield draft talent

Jared Ravich/

Down on the Farm: San Jose Giants now stacked with 2016 outfield draft talent

Health delayed the inevitable, but now over two weeks into May, the San Jose Giants’ outfield is stacked with talent from the 2016 MLB Draft. 

Last June, the Giants used three of their first five picks in the draft on outfielders. San Francisco went with back-to-back outfielders — Bryan Reynolds No. 59 overall and Heath Quinn No. 95  overall — to start off their selections. Three rounds after taking Quinn, the Giants went with Gio Brusa No. 185 overall for their fifth pick in the draft. 

Reynolds and Brusa have both been on San Francisco’s Advanced Single-A affiliate since Opening Day, but Quinn had to wait his turn this year. Due to a hamate bone injury in his hand, Quinn started the season on the shelf. On Monday, Quinn was assigned to San Jose looking to soar in the outfield with Brusa and Reynolds. 

Immediately, Quinn showed the impact he can make on a team. 

Quinn, 21, went 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout Monday. In his second game with the team, Quinn finished as the only Giant with multiple hits in Tuesday’s loss, going 2-for-4 with another double and a strikeout. 

In 2016, the former Samford product forced his way to a small late-season stint with San Jose after dominating at Short Season Single-A with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The right fielder had a .337 batting average, .423 on-base percentage and a .571 slugging percentage with nine home runs in 54 games. Across the board, he led the team in all three slash-line categories, plus doubles (19) and total bases (117). 

After Quinn’s success with the Volcanoes, he finished the final four games with the Giants and just kept on hitting. Quinn went 6-for-17 with a double, good for a .353 batting average. He is ranked the Giants’ No. 7 prospect by and No. 16 by Baseball America. 

Reynolds, the highest ranked prospect of the three outfielders, is going through an up-and-down season so far. The center fielder started off on fire and stood at a .341 batting average after the first 10 games. Now 33 games into the season, Reynolds is down to .252 to go with a .318 on-base percentage and .356 slugging percentage. 

On a positive note, Reynolds may be finding his swing. Prior to his 0-for-3 showing Tuesday, he produced big back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday. Reynolds finished the final two games of a four-game series against the Island Empire 66ers going 4-for-9 with two doubles, a triple and a run scored. The talent is certainly there for the top pick from 2016. 

Out in left field, Brusa, a local talent from from the University of the Pacific, is off to a slow start and hasn’t hit any higher than .212 this season. Brusa has power — he was the only player to have more homers than Quinn in 2016 with the Volcanoes and has four long balls so far this year — but strikeouts are slowing him down. In 30 games, Brusa has struck out 37 percent of the time, going down 42 times in 114 at-bats. 

While Reynolds and Brusa are facing a bit of a sophomore slump, there’s plenty of season left and the third piece to the puzzle in Quinn may have arrived at the perfect time. 

Around The Horn 

— Aaron Hill began his rehab assignment with San Jose on Tuesday night. The veteran utility man went 0-for-4 as the team’s DH with three strikeouts. 

— Outfielder Austin Slater is on fire at Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats. Slater collected two more hits Tuesday and is now batting .360 in May. 

— Kyle Crick continues to be a story to watch in Sacramento. The former top prospect has been converted from a starting pitcher to a reliever and it’s been paying off lately. Crick has tossed six straight scoreless appearances out of the bullpen. Here’s the numbers in that span: Eight innings pitched, two hits, four walks and nine strikeouts.