Curve goes deep in win over Erie
Curve manager Carlos Garcia said if there is anyone to follow, it would be Gregory Polanco.
So Alex Dickerson did.
Polanco and Dickerson hit back-to-back homers as the Curve beat Erie for the second night in a row, 7-6, before 5,247 at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
“He’s going to be an impact player wherever he goes,” Garcia said of Polanco. “You can see tonight how things started changing just a little bit. Energy wise, if you want to follow somebody, this is the guy you want to follow.”
Polanco and Dickerson’s home runs were the third time the Curve have hit back-to-back shots this season. Andrew Lambo and Jarek Cunningham did it on May 22, and then Lambo and Charlie Cutler did it June 2.
“It pumped the team up,” Garcia said. “Definitely the energy was dead and when they see guys succeed at the plate in that fashion, it’s awesome. For the most part, they are rooting for each other. Every time they go up there, that’s important for us.”
The homers helped the Curve improve their record to 5-1 in their last six as they have now won three in a row.
Polanco’s homer was just his second in Double-A. While the center fielder is known for his speed – thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame – his homer in the third inning was hit well. It nearly banged off the roller coaster in right field.
“I hit it hard,” Polanco said. “I knew when I hit the ball, I hit it hard. I had good contact. I thought I got it. I knew it, as soon as I hit it, I knew it.”
The power isn’t something Polanco relies on, but his speed has helped him stretch numerous routine ground balls into infield singles. Those singles have helped him to collect 20 hits in 16 games with 13 RBIs, sending him to the Sirius XM All-Star Future’s Game in New York City as apart of the MLB ALL-Star Game festivities.
“I think that’s a good thing for me,” he said. “It’s a good step forward.”
While Polanco has quickly impressed Garcia, Dickerson took a while. After struggling in April, hitting .185, he has hit .264 in May, .300 in June and now .375 in July.
“In Alex, he had a great season last year in the Florida State League,” Garcia said. “I expected him to pick it up. The season goes on, and he starts heating up.”
Key player: CF Gregory Polanco went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Key play: RF Alex Dickerson homered, following Polanco’s,
Key stat: Justin Howard extended his hitting streak to 11 games, tying Andrew Lambo’s season long.
How they scored
Bottom 1st: Rojas doubled, Polanco walked, both scored on Cunningham single (2-0).
Bottom 3rd: Polanco homered (3-0); Dickerson homered (4-0).
Top 4th: Suarez homered (4-1); Perez singled, scored on Collins ground out (4-2).
Bottom 4th: Paulino reached on an error by Suarez, scored on Santos single (5-2); Maggi doubled, scored Polanco single (6-2).
Top 6th: Cabrera reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on Collins double (6-3).
Bottom 7th: Santos hit by a pitch, scored on Howard single (7-3).
Top 8th: Collins walked, scored on Robbins single (7-4); Gaynor walked, Robbins singled, both scored on Lemon single (7-6).