I have been up and down on Brandon Barnes this season. Entering the 2013 campaign, I thought he had done enough to earn an Opening Day spot with the Astros, which he ultimately did receive.
Then as the season progressed after the first month and a half, I advocated for Barnes to get some more playing time. It seemed that whenever he was on the field, good things happened and he made plays.
But then he got that chance to play everyday. And it didn’t work out so well for Barnes. A .191 batting average against RHP would certainly do that to you. Tonight though, is a night where we should celebrate the outfielder.
Barnes did something that only seven other Astros have ever done. He hit for the cycle. Not to take anything away from the moment, but the starting pitcher for Seattle tonight, Joe Saunders, is a LHP. Entering tonight’s game, Barnes was hitting .314 against southpaws.
The outfielder wasted to no time getting things started, as he hit a second inning home run off Saunders to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Next came the triple in the fourth inning as Barnes drove in Justin Maxwell to cut the Mariners’ lead to 4-2.
In the sixth inning Barnes got his third hit of the night off Saunders with a single. Barnes did complete the cycle with an eighth inning double off right hander Danny Farquahr. He placed a hard hit ball just inside the right field line and committed to stretching his hit into a double right of the box and was able to beat Michael Saunders‘ throw.
For good measure Barnes became the first Astro since Hunter Pence in 2008 to have a five hit game with a swinging bunt in the ninth inning. This was a career night for Barnes, and hopefully he channels this positive momentum into a hot stretch.