Molina slams them Slow-moving Ranger smacks homer, triple, double and single Howard Ulman BOSTON // When Bengie Molina went to bat needing a triple to hit for the cycle in cosy Fenway Park, a teammate figured the slow-moving catcher's chances to be nil. "I would have bet everything I own that Bengie Molina would never hit for the cycle," Ian Kinsler said with a smile. "Ever." Molina surprised Kinsler and nearly everyone in the stadium by hustling out a triple, powering Texas to an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Molina became the eighth player and first catcher since 1900 to hit for the cycle (a single, double, triple and home run) with a grand slam. Molina completed his feat in the eighth inning when he hit Ramon Ramirez's pitch to the deepest part of Fenway, the center-field triangle 420 feet from home. The ball bounced off the glove of Eric Patterson, and by the time the Red Sox got the ball back into the infield Molina was standing on third base with only the sixth triple of his 1,314-game career.
"When I saw the ball going away from him, I just put my head down and kept going," Molina said. "For a guy who has been criticised for his speed for 11-and-a-half years and may be the slowest guy in the world, it was an unbelievable feeling." Molina, obtained from the San Francisco Giants on July 1 to shore up a team weakness at catcher, looked over his right shoulder at Patterson as he rounded second and lumbered into third, then smiled at teammates in the dugout. A few pitches later, he left the game with tightness in his right quadriceps; he had slipped rounding first base.
Molina is the fifth player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle and the first since Kinsler on April 15, 2009. Molina said his grand slam meant more than hitting for the cycle. The slam came in the five-run fifth and broke a 3-3 tie. "That was more special than the cycle, because it put us ahead," he said. * AP