The throbbing pain in Todd Helton's left wrist jolted him from his sleep in the middle of the night. When he woke up yesterday, he was sure he would spend the day on the bench.
The Florida Marlins weren't so lucky.
Helton played through the pain and became the third player in Colorado history to hit for the cycle, getting it in his only four at-bats last night to lead the Rockies to a 10-2 victory over the Marlins in Denver.
"To be very honest with you, I was positive I wasn't going to play," Helton said. "The trainers worked some magic because when I woke up [Saturday] morning, there was no way I was going to play."
Helton, 13 for 26 with four homers and 17 RBI in his past seven games, injured the wrist when Florida catcher Jorge Fabregas stepped on it during a rundown Friday night.
The side effects turned out to be positive as Helton doubled down the right field line in the second inning, singled to right in the fourth, hit a solo homer to left in the fifth and tripled into the right field gap to lead off the seventh.
"I knew what I had to get," Helton said. "I was going to run until they tagged me. Once I hit the ball in the gap, I just took off and put my head down and didn't stop until I got to third."
He joins Dante Bichette and Neifi Perez as the other Colorado players to hit for the cycle. All three have come at Coors Field.
CARDINALS 7, METS 6: Mark McGwire ended a 32 at-bat home run drought with a three-run shot in the first inning in St. Louis.
Rickey Henderson was 4 for 5, with his sixth homer, a double, three RBI and a stolen base for the Mets.
PADRES 5, PIRATES 4: In San Diego, Dave Magadan singled in the winning run in the seventh inning and Tony Gwynn's hit parade continued slowly toward 3,000.
Gwynn singled for career hit No. 2,982 in the third and scored the tying run, but left after five innings as a precaution after feeling tightness in his left calf. He was playing his seventh game since missing 19 games due to the strained calf. His status was listed as day-to-day.
GIANTS 11, CUBS 5: Marvin Benard had a career-high five RBI, hitting a two-run homer and a three-run double, as host San Francisco won its third straight over Chicago.
Charlie Hayes and Doug Mirabelli added two RBI each and Barry Bonds had an RBI single for the Giants, who won their fourth straight overall.
DODGERS 8, PHILLIES 1: Darren Dreifort (6-5) pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and Todd Hollandsworth, Tripp Cromer and Raul Mondesi each drove in two runs in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers broke open the game in the fifth with five runs, batting around against relievers Mike Grace and Amaury Telemaco for an 8-0 lead.
BREWERS 10, REDS 1: In Cincinnati, Jose Valentin homered in Milwaukee's seven-run first inning and Dave Nilsson later hit his 100th career homer.
ASTROS 5, EXPOS 2: Mike Hampton gave up two runs in seven innings and had two hits to lead host Houston. Hampton (9-2) gave up seven hits and two walks to win his fourth straight. He is 4-0 with 3.62 ERA this month.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, BRAVES 3: Arizona's Jay Bell tied his career high with his 21st home run and visiting Atlanta committed three errors to see its four-game winning streak end.
CAPTION: Benny Agbayani of the Mets and Cardinals second baseman Joe McEwing look for the call during second inning steal attempt. Agbayani was safe.(Photo ran in an earlier edition)
CAPTION: Jeff Kent is home free, crossing the plate ahead of the tag of Cubs' Benito Santiago, in Giants' five-run seventh inning. Host San Francisco won, 11-5.