Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins SS Jorge Polanco hits for first cycle of 2019

Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco completes the 15th cycle in team history, and first in nearly a decade, in a losing effort in Philadelphia on Friday.

The Minnesota Twins rewarded shortstop Jorge Polanco with a contract extension in the offseason, and on a cold, windy night in Philadelphia, he showed he’s worth the money.

Polanco hit for the first cycle in the Major Leagues in 2019 against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, finishing the game 5-5 with an RBI. The 25-year-old came into the game hitting .286 in 21 at-bats this season but raised his average to .423 with his history-making performance. Despite Polanco’s cycle, the Twins lost to the Phillies 10-4, suffering only their second defeat of the season.

Polanco began the game with a line drive to center off Phillies starter Nick Pivetta. Center fielder Odubel Herrera made a jumping attempt to catch it at the wall, but it hit off his glove and Polanco walked into third base with a triple. He singled up the middle in the third inning, then in the fifth, with rain falling at Citizens Bank Park, he homered down the right-field line. The switch-hitting Polanco completed the cycle in his fourth at-bat in the seventh, doubling down the left field line while batting right-handed off lefty reliever Adam Morgan.

Polanco’s cycle is the 15th in Twins history, and first since Michael Cuddyer on May 22, 2009. It’s also the earliest cycle by date in MLB history, surpassing by a day Brad Wilkerson’s cycle on April 6, 2005. Last season there were five cycles, one by AL MVP Mookie Betts while NL MVP Christian Yelich hit two. Brock Holt had the last cycle in the ALDS for the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees, the first in postseason history.

The Dominican native is in his sixth year with the Twins after signing with the club a day after his 16th birthday in 2009. In 294 games with the Twins, he’s batting .276 with 24 home runs and 148 RBI. He appeared in just 77 games in 2018 after hitting a career-high 13 home runs in 2017. The Twins signed him to a five-year, $25.75 million extension in February that will keep him in Minnesota until 2023.

The Twins (4-2) currently lead the AL Central, while the Phillies improved to 5-1 with the win and are in first place in the NL East.

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