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Espinosa hits for cycle in winter ball

Nationals' Espinosa hits for cycle in winter ball

Washington Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa capped a noteworthy Tuesday by hitting for the cycle as the Leones de Ponce rolled to a 10-2 Puerto Rican Winter League rout of the Gigantes de Carolina.

Espinosa accomplished the feat in reverse order, leading off the bottom of the first inning with his second Winter Ball homer. He delivered an RBI triple and scored in a three-run third, walked an inning later, then doubled home another run and scored in the sixth to extend the Leones' lead to 7-1.

With two outs in the seventh, the 23-year-old Long Beach State product reached on an infield hit that scored Orioles prospect Miguel Abreu.

The 4-for-4 effort raised Espinosa's batting average to .310, the highest it's been since Oct. 29. He ranks second in the league with seven extra-base hits and 12 runs scored while sharing the lead with seven stolen bases.

Earlier Tuesday, Espinosa was selected to the Topps Double-A All-Star Team. Already an Eastern League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, he batted .262 with 18 homers, 54 RBIs and 20 steals in 99 games at Harrisburg. After hitting .295 with four homers, 15 RBIs and five stolen bases at Triple-A Syracuse, he spent the final month of the season in the Major Leagues.

In 28 games with the Nationals, Espinosa hit .214 with six homers and 15 RBIs.

Daren Smith is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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