Elly De La Cruz hits for the cycle, leads Reds past Braves to 12th straight win

The Cincinnati Reds pushed their win streak to match a franchise record 12 games on Friday

Elly De La Cruz

The Cincinnati Reds can’t be stopped.

Elly De La Cruz led the Reds to their 12th straight win Friday, an 11-10 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park. De La Cruz hit for the cycle by the sixth inning, which only added to the historic day.

The Reds' 12th consecutive win matched a franchise best, a record that was set in 1957.

De La Cruz was playing in only his 15th major-league game Friday, after being called up earlier this month from the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate in Louisville. The 21-year-old hit a two-run home run in the third inning off Atlanta pitcher AJ Smith-Shawver, which brought the Reds back within a single run at the time.

It was De La Cruz’s third home run since he was called up. According to ESPN, he is now the first player in the World Series era to have at least 20 hits, five stolen bases and three home runs in his first 15 games.

The home run followed a double that De La Cruz hit in the second inning and brought him halfway to the cycle just three innings into the game. He hit an RBI single in the fifth inning and was driven in on a Joey Votto home run that gave the Reds their first lead of the game.

In the sixth inning, De La Cruz stretched a deep shot to right field into a triple to officially complete the cycle.

It was the first cycle by any Reds player since 1989, when Eric Davis accomplished the feat against the San Diego Padres, and just the seventh in franchise history.

De La Cruz is the third-fastest to a cycle in Major League Baseball history. Only Gary Ward, who did so in 14 games in 1980, and Cliff Heathcote, who got it in six in 1918, achieved the milestone faster. De La Cruz is the youngest to hit for a cycle since 1972.

Although De La Cruz was caught stealing home that inning, it didn’t matter. He had already made history and stretched Cincinnati’s lead to four runs. While the Braves hit three solo homers in the eighth to bring them back within one, the Reds held on to take a one-run win. It was their 27th comeback win this season and their fifth straight comeback win.

Elly De La Cruz headshot
Elly De La Cruz
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The Braves were on a run entering Friday’s game, the first of three against the Reds in Cincinnati. Atlanta had won eight straight before Friday’s loss and 16 of its past 19. The Braves held a 6.5-game lead over the Miami Marlins in the NL East coming into Friday’s game, too.

The Reds are an incredible 13-2 since De La Cruz was called up June 7 and now hold the lead in the NL Central. They haven’t won their division since 2012 and have reached the postseason once in the past decade.

While De La Cruz is only part of the reason the Reds are on this historic run, he’s more than doing his part to keep it going.