Aviles' cycle bid gives Yost flashbacks

Aviles' cycle bid gives Yost flashbacks

KANSAS CITY -- When Mike Aviles went for the cycle by trying to hit a home run against the Twins on Tuesday night, Royals manager Ned Yost approved.

"He was crazy if he didn't, I'd have been mad at him if he wasn't," Yost said after the Royals' 10-1 victory.

Aviles popped high to shortstop in his fourth at-bat and didn't get another chance. Turns out that Yost had a similar experience on June 30, 1982, when he was catching for the Brewers at Yankee Stadium.

Yost doubled off Tommy John in the second inning, flied out in the fourth, tripled off Dave LaRoche in the sixth and singled off George Frazier in the eighth.

So Yost was "all fired up" to wallop a home run and complete the rare feat.

"And, of course, they threw Goose Gossage out there on me," Yost recalled. "So I just decided I was going to ambush the first pitch, go up there and swing and see how far I could hit it. He threw me a fastball right down the middle, first pitch, and I swung so hard I actually hurt my neck. But I popped it up about four miles high to the shortstop and that was the only other chance I had. I never had that opportunity again."

So when Aviles, 28 years later, also popped to the shortstop, Yost had a flashback and had to laugh. He remembered what he'd been thinking when he faced the flame-throwing Gossage.

"That I was going to get a fastball and I was going to hit it to the moon!" Yost said.

You know the old baseball saying: You can't hit a home run if you try to hit one.

"You can't," Yost said. "But that didn't stop me. I was gonna try, just like Mikey tried and got the same result."

Yost's Brewers also won their game, 9-7, in 12 innings on Gorman Thomas' two-run homer off Shane Rawley, who relieved Gossage.

Sign of the times: Gossage, the Yankees' Hall of Fame closer, pitched 3 1/3 innings, and Rollie Fingers, the Brewers' Hall of Fame closer, went 4 2/3 innings and got the victory.

Closers pitched a little longer in those days.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.