Taylor cycles into IronPigs' history

Phillies prospect goes 5-for-5 en route to franchise first

Michael Taylor hit .333 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs in 86 games at Reading this year. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

By John Torenli / Special to MLB.com | August 12, 2009 7:46 PM

After lighting up the Eastern League for more than three months, Lehigh Valley's Michael Taylor was still looking to find his groove in the International League.

The Phillies' fifth-round pick in the 2007 Draft did so in historic fashion Wednesday night in front of 9,661 fans at Coca-Cola Park.

Taylor's second career five-hit game resulted in the IronPigs' first-ever cycle as Lehigh Valley pulled out a 10-9, 10-inning victory over the Louisville Bats.

"It feels really good, especially coming in a win," Taylor said. "To be able to contribute and establish a milestone is pretty sweet."

Promoted to the International League on July 16 after hitting .333 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs in 86 games at Double-A Reading, Taylor was batting .247 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 26 contests with the IronPigs before his historic night.

Those numbers got a significant boost as the 23-year-old Maryland native delivered an RBI triple in the opening frame.

Taylor singled in the third, doubled home two runs in the fifth and ripped another two-base hit in the seventh before belting a long, one-out solo homer in the ninth to forge a 9-9 tie.

"It was hit pretty well," he said. "It definitely felt good, not only to tie the game but to complete the cycle in one swing."

The blast sailed far over the left-field fence and set the stage for Major League veteran Miguel Cairo's walk-off single in the 10th.

Taylor, who also had five hits against New Hampshire on May 29, finished 5-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored -- easily his best effort arriving in Lehigh Valley.

"After the first couple of games, I kind of knew I could play here," Taylor said. "There's an adjustment period for refining your approach at the plate. Everything speeds up and mistakes are emphasized.

"For me, it's just about continuing to get better and having an idea of what I want to do at the plate. I haven't been that stressed out about it because I've notoriously been a slow starter."

Mentioned in a rumored Trade Deadline deal for Toronto ace Roy Halladay, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound outfielder had only two RBIs in his previous nine games.

"[The trade rumors were] definitely was on my mind," Taylor admitted. "I'd be lying to say that it wasn't. But I try not to focus on it. It's out of my control. For me, it was semi-exciting and a bit unnerving.

"But I'm glad to still be here. I enjoy this organization and I hope my opportunity [to reach the Major Leagues] comes with [the Phillies]."

John Torenli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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