Now Commenting On:

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Polanco following in Clemente's footsteps

Outfielder matches legend with seven-game hit streak to start career

Polanco following in Clemente's footsteps play video for Polanco following in Clemente's footsteps

PITTSBURGH -- Keeping up with a legendary forebear, Pirates rookie Gregory Polanco extended his career-starting hitting streak to seven games Tuesday night.

Polanco did so with a crisp line-drive single to center to lead off the third inning against Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto. In his first at-bat, Polanco had also barreled up a pitch from his countryman, but lined out deeper to center.

The 22-year-old is the first Pirates player since 1955 -- and only the third ever -- to hit safely in his first seven games.

In 1955, Roberto Clemente went 11-for-30 in his first seven big league games. With that third-inning single, Polanco was 13-for-33.

In Wednesday night's game, Polanco can separate himself from Buccos history by becoming the first player to debut with hits in his first eight games.

"I know about that," Polanco said following the game, a 6-5 Pirates loss, "but I don't think about it at all. I can't. All I can do is keep going out there and continue playing the way I have."

In his eighth game, Clemente went 0-for-4 against Cincinnati.

Zip Collins, the only other Pittsburgh rookie to collect hits in his first seven games, in 1914, also went 0-for-4 in No. 8, against the Braves.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español