05/14/12 11:38 PM ET
Polanco reaches 2,000 hits with homer
By Jake Kaplan / MLB.com
Polanco, not known for his power, smacked a line drive over the wall in left-center field in the eighth inning of Monday's 5-1 win against the Astros. It was the first home run of the season for the Phillies' third baseman and 15-year veteran, who is the 17th active player to tally 2,000 hits.
"I knew I hit it pretty good," Polanco said. "I was just hoping it would drop somewhere."
All smiles, Polanco returned to the Phillies dugout where he was embraced by his teammates. He then took a brief curtain call for fans.
After the game, Polanco was greeted by a champagne toast, during which Chase Utley said a couple of words about his infield mate.
Polanco said the milestone is probably the top in his career.
"It means a lot," Polanco said. "It means you've been around for a while. I've been very fortunate to have played since 1998 and to accomplish all these things. However, I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm thinking about our situation right here, which is we've got to try to win games [and vie for a championship].
"It shows two things, it shows that you're good, and it shows that you're good for a long time," said starting pitcher Joe Blanton, who earned the win Monday. "That's impressive to see. It was good to be a part of and see him do that. He's a great teammate and a great guy."
Polanco said he didn't know the ball was going to leave the yard right away. "I never know. I'm not a power hitter," he insisted.
Despite it leaving the park, Polanco was able to get the ball back. The fan who caught it kindly offered it back to Polanco, who signed a bat for the fan.
As for eventually reaching the coveted 3,000-hit milestone?
"I'm looking to play many more years, but I don't know about 3,000," Polanco said with a smile.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.