Arenado powers Rafters past Solar Sox
Rockies prospect homers, plates four to extend AFL RBI lead
Nolan Arenado's not looking for RBI chances, but they just seem to keep finding him.
The Rockies' No. 4 prospect homered and drove in four more runs Tuesday afternoon as the Salt River Rafters rallied for a 12-9 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.
Arenado singled home a run in the first inning to give the Rafters a 1-0 lead. He put them in front again with a three-run homer in the seventh.
"I was ready to swing at the first pitch if it was there, but it was a little up," Arenado said. "The next pitch was middle away and my whole goal was to drive the ball. I wasn't thinking about hitting a home run, I was just trying to drive it into the gap."
After leading all Minor Leaguers with 122 RBIs for Class A Advanced Modesto, the former second-round Draft pick is pacing the Arizona Fall League with 19 in 10 games. Arenado went 4-for-5 and ranks fourth in the circuit with a .422 average.
"I'm not thinking about the runners on base, I'm just trying to slow the game down and do what I do," the 20-year-old third baseman said. "Just try to hit the ball hard and see where it goes."
Arenado is happy with his time in the AFL but acknowledged there's still plenty of baseball to play.
"I went 4-for-5 today, I could go 0-for-5 tomorrow," he said. "I'm happy but not content. I want to finish strong here. We'll see what happens."
Fellow Rockies prospect Tim Wheeler smacked a two-run single and is second behind Arenado with 15 RBIs. Hernan Perez (Tigers) collected two hits and three RBIs, while Astros prospect Jake Goebbert slugged a solo homer for Salt River (10-3).
Dodgers farmhand Josh Wall (1-0) was credited with the win after allowing a run on two hits in an inning of relief.
D.J. LeMahieu (Cubs) drove in three runs and Twins top prospect Aaron Hicks fell a double shy of the cycle and contributed two RBIs for the Solar Sox (4-9).
Cubs right-hander Marcus Hatley (0-3) surrendered five runs on six hits in one inning and was saddled with the loss.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.