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Hurdle defends Polanco’s baserunning


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Gregory Polanco. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

PHOENIX — Clint Hurdle didn't take issue with Gregory Polanco's decision to slow down while running to first base on a ground ball in the fourth inning Tuesday night at Chase Field.

Hurdle defended Polanco's actions, telling reporters Wednesday morning the Pirates right fielder has been receiving treatments on his hamstrings for the past two weeks. Todd Tomczyk, the team's director of sports medicine, said there are no new issues with Polanco's hamstrings, and he's been receiving those treatments since the end of last season.

With the Pirates trailing by four runs and two runners in scoring position, Polanco hit a ground ball to Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Polanco sprinted out of the batter's box but slowed down a little over halfway up the line, drawing the ire of fans on social media and John Wehner, a color commentator for AT&T SportsNet.

Polanco is playing right field and batting seventh in the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday afternoon.

"I didn’t have any issue about the play because I wasn’t watching him running," Hurdle said. "Sometimes I watch the ball, sometimes I watch the player. When we picked it up and I look at the distance, he ran a 4.68 down the line. He’s been treated for his hamstrings for two weeks. I think there comes a point in time in a player’s evaluation, 'If I can’t get there, if I try and get there and I’m going to be out.' I don’t think he wanted to push it from a health issue."

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