Raines punctuates electric 1987 campaign by hitting for cycle

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Larkin Richards

On a classic mid-summer’s day, with Stade Olympique welcoming 26,134 fans, the Montreal Expos took their places on the diamond like any other game.

For Tim Raines, it turned out to be one of his most iconic performances of his career.

Before Aug. 16, 1987, the Expos had a steady 65-51 record, winning despite predictions to the contrary. Quickly becoming the “surprise team” of the year as described by the Wausau Daily Herald, the Expos benefited from Raines return to the lineup in May after he found few contract offers in the offseason due to what came to be ruled as collusion by the teams.

The Pittsburgh Pirates began their series with the Expos with Rick Reuschel on the mound. The first batter in the lineup was Raines, and he sent a Reuschel pitch deep into center field. With Raines’ speed, the blast resulted in a triple.

By the bottom of the third, Raines came back to plate and banged out a double, sending a line drive down right field.

With the Expos still trailing the Pirates in the bottom of the fifth, Raines smacked a single in between first and second base. Two batters later, Tim Wallach sent home Raines to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Raines came to the plate again in the bottom of the seventh, with the Pirates leading 7-4. This time, Raines doubled, putting him in position to score when Mitch Webster singled. By the end of the seventh, the Expos led 9-7.

A comeback like that only calls for one more at bat for Raines – a memorable one, too.

In the bottom of the eighth, Raines hit a homer off Pirates pitcher Mark Ross straight into right field. Going 5-for-5, Raines hits for cycle in a 10-7 victory.

By the end of the 1987 season, Raines had a .330 batting average, led the major leagues with 123 runs and finished seventh in the NL MVP race.

Raines was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Larkin Richards was the 2022 social media intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development
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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series