Polanco does it again for Indianapolis

Top Pirates prospect belts go-ahead double, falls triple shy of cycle

Gregory Polanco is batting 59 points higher than the next closest International League hitter. (Bill Gentry/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | April 25, 2014 12:52 AM ET

When it comes to Gregory Polanco, the extraordinary has become the ordinary of late.

The Pirates' top prospect was 3-for-4 with a homer and a go-ahead RBI double as Triple-A Indianapolis rallied to defeat Toledo, 7-5, on Thursday.

Polanco finished a triple shy of the cycle. The 22-year-old outfielder also scored three times, walked once and stole a base while raising his average to an International League-leading .420.

The native of the Dominican Republic has had two or more hits in 11 of his 20 games this season. He has seven multi-RBI games, and in six at-bats this season with runners in scoring position and two outs, Polanco has driven in five runs.

MLB.com's No. 13 prospect has been nearly unstoppable in any situation. With runners in scoring position, Polanco is batting .565 with 18 RBIs in 23 at-bats. Leading off an inning, he's hitting .529, and even when behind in the count, he's found a way to produce, amassing a .333 average.

Despite the gaudy numbers, there's still work Polanco has to do to take his game to the big leagues.

"He hasn't been in every situation. I just want to make sure that when he gets called up he can help immediately," hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo told MiLB.com on April 22. "That's what we do in this organization. We have to make sure they have all the things covered. Then when he goes up, it will be a more manageable resource for Clint Hurdle and his staff.

"We're still working on his defense and his baserunning every time we can. We want to produce well-rounded Major League players, championship-caliber players, and this kid has a lot of tools."

Tony Sanchez, who spent time in the Major Leagues earlier this season, also came up big for the Indians, reaching base five times and slugging a three-run homer in the ninth.

Vin Mazzaro fanned two over two perfect innings to improve to 1-0. Jared Hughes recorded the final two outs to notch his fourth save.

Trevor Crowe plated a pair of runs for the Mud Hens.

Melvin Mercedes fell to 0-1 after yielding four runs on four hits over 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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