PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco had the game the Pirates had been looking for from their longest-tenured player on Wednesday.
Polanco entered the night batting .138 this season, a similar slump to the extended one he had in 2020, when he hit .153 in 50 games. But he got the Bucs on the board with his first home run of the season, getting the offense going in a 5-1 win over the Padres at PNC Park.
With former Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove — whose 32-inning scoreless streak entering the at-bat was the longest active one in MLB — on the mound for San Diego, Polanco belted a Statcast-projected 395-foot homer to right field in the second inning. The home run placed Polanco in a tie with Craig Wilson for the fifth-most homers in PNC Park history at 47.
The bigger question for Polanco, though, is how consistent he can be. In this game, he passed the test. The right fielder singled against Musgrove in the fourth to put two runners on with no outs, though both were stranded. Polanco drew a left-on-left walk against Tim Hill in the sixth, then worked a four-pitch walk off Austin Adams in the eighth before coming around to score during a three-run rally.