Washington Nationals' Trea Turner becomes first player to hit for cycle on birthday in modern era

WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner thought three bags the moment he made contact. So did everyone else in the ballpark.

Turner completed his record-tying third career cycle by hitting a sixth-inning triple for the Washington Nationals on Wednesday -- accomplishing the feat on his 28th birthday before leaving the game with a finger injury -- in a 15-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The speedy shortstop became the fifth player in major league history with three cycles, joining Adrian Beltre, Babe Herman, Bob Meusel and John Reilly, according to research by Elias Sports Bureau.

He is the first player in Major League Baseball's modern era (since 1900) to hit for the cycle on his birthday, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"I'm thinking triple out of the box," Turner said of his last hit, which he drove to the right-field wall, "and just hoping that he doesn't pick it up right away and get it in before I usually make my decision."

As Turner's fourth hit of the day sailed down the line, the crowd rose immediately in expectation of a play at third.

And the Rays were prepared. Manuel Margot hit cutoff man Mike Brosseau. The second baseman's relay was true.

But Turner narrowly beat Yandy Diaz's tag with a headfirst slide.

"Everybody was standing up," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of his dugout. "They were all practically wanting to go on the field. And when he was safe, there was a loud cheer. ... I love watching him run."

Turner joins a club that is as old-fashioned as it is exclusive. Aside from Beltre, the others with three cycles got them before the mid-1930s.

"I think it's luck, it's tools to be able to hit for power and have at least some speed," Turner said. "I remember when Adrian Beltre did it a little while ago, I remember thinking it was pretty interesting that he's tied for the lead with three. Because you don't picture him as a speed guy."

Turner singled in the first off Tampa Bay opener Drew Rasmussen, doubled in the third against Ryan Sherriff (0-1), then hit his 14th homer in the fourth off Michael Wacha.

Ryan Zimmerman pinch-hit for Turner in the seventh. Washington manager Dave Martinez said Turner jammed his left pinky finger and is day-to-day. Outfielder Juan Soto also cramped up, Martinez said, but didn't seem overly concerned about either.

"Hopefully, tomorrow everybody is good to go," he said.

Martinez seemed more interested in talking about Turner's efforts.

"It's just a testament to what a good hitter he is," Martinez said of Turner. "When he's going good, there's no telling where he can hit the ball, and hit the ball with power."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.