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SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Former major leaguer Eric Thames hit for the cycle in the top South Korean baseball league on Thursday.
The 28-year-old first baseman for the NC Dinos went 5-for-5 with a single, two doubles, a triple and a home run against the Kia Tigers on the road in Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, to become the 17th player to accomplish the feat in the 33-year history of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
Thames, who has played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners, is the second foreign player to hit for the cycle in the KBO, after Manny Martinez of the Samsung Lions in 2001.
Thames, playing in his second KBO season, laced a double down the right field line in the first inning. Then in his next at-bat in the third, he hit another double, this time to left-center gap.
In the fifth, Thames took Kia starter Yang Hyeon-jong over the right field for a towering solo shot, his KBO-leading sixth long ball of the season.
In the seventh, Thames hit a single to right. Then in his final at-bat in the ninth, Thames slapped one past the first base and sprinted all the way to third to complete the rare feat.
Thames had a strong season in 2014 with a .343 batting average, 37 home runs, 121 RBIs and 95 runs scored, all team-highs.
He has picked up right where he left off to start 2015. He has homered in four consecutive games and already has six homers in just eight games. He's batting .483 so far this season.
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