Friday night’s game was not kind the Minnesota Twins as they fell 10-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to sloppy play, three errors, and 11 hits allowed. While it was not a banner night for the club, one particular Twin stood out.
Jorge Polanco had a historic night, hitting for his first career cycle, the 15th in Minnesota Twins franchise history, and the 11th since the franchise became the Twins following a relocation from Washington, D.C. in 1961. Polanco became the first Twin to hit for the cycle since Michael Cuddyer on May 22, 2009, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Polanco’s was the first cycle of the 2019 season.
Polanco kicked off his night with a triple in the first inning off starter Nick Pivetta and a single in the third. Polanco then ripped a home run in the fifth off of Pivetta again and completed the cycle with a double in the seventh off reliever Adam Morgan. Polanco also posted a single for good measure in the ninth for his first career five-hit game.
According to MLB.com, Polanco is now the first known player to reach 11 or more total bases without scoring or driving in multiple runs.
“I feel really good at the plate, waited for my pitches in the zone and got my hits,” Polanco said.
While many players will say that they did not know that they had a date with history until it is actually over, but Polanco will be the first to say that he knew exactly what was going on.
“I think that the inning before, I was thinking that I needed a double,” Polanco said. “But when I went to hit, I was just thinking to get a good pitch and hit it.”
Polanco’s was the first Twins five-hit cycle since the team moved to Minnesota with the only other five-hit cycle in franchise history coming from Hall of Famer Joe Cronin for the Washington Senators, on Sept. 2, 1929.
“Jorge is very workmanlike in the way he goes about everything,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He prepares very well. It’s rare to see something like this. You don’t see it very often. But for him, and a player of that caliber, I’m not surprised to see him do it. It was very cool to be a part of just as a spectator.”
Polanco has been on fire to start the season, leading Minnesota with 11 hits through the first six games of the season, including a homer, two triples, and three doubles. After signing a five-year, $25.75 million extension with two option years during Spring Training, Polanco is earning his paycheck through the first few series of the new contract.
“Just one to forget for a lot of guys besides Jorge,” said Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi said.
While the Phillies were on the wrong side of history today, they were on the right side of a win and now improve to 5-1. Despite Polanco’s historic performance, the Twins have now fallen to 4-2 in an American League Central division that is wide open for any team willing to challenge the Cleveland Indians for the throne.