CINCINNATI -- When Shin-Soo Choo stepped to the plate in the eighth inning in Wednesday's 10-7 win over the D-backs, he had a chance to do something no other Reds player has done in more than two decades.
After opening the Cincinnati half of the first with his sixth leadoff home run of the season, Choo singled in the second and doubled in the fourth, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle heading into his fourth and final at-bat of the game.
"I said, 'Hit one down in the right-field corner,'" Reds manager Dusty Baker said before Thursday's finale. "The triple is the hardest one to get, and the way they were playing him, way over in right-center, if he hit one down in that corner, it would have been a triple."
Choo, however, was distracted by the fact the D-backs had cut what was once an 8-0 advantage to just a one-run lead by the time he stepped in the box to face right-hander Brad Ziegler.
"I said, 'I'm not going to think about that,'" Choo said. "Especially with the game close, I think more about getting on base. If I hit a triple, it's a triple. It happened. Not looking for a triple or an extra-base hit, I don't think like that."
On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Choo did hit a drive to right field, but it dropped in front of Gerardo Parra to complete a 4-for-4 night. Three batters later, Choo came around to score.
With a triple, Choo would have become just the sixth player in Reds history to hit for the cycle, and the first since Eric Davis did it on June 2, 1989, against San Diego. Before that, Frank Robinson was the last Cincinnati player to accomplish the rare feat, doing so in May 1959.
"It's fate," Choo said. "If you hit a cycle, you hit a cycle -- fate. I'm not trying to hit a cycle."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.