Saturday night was all about lucky number seven for Matthew Batten.The Padres prospect smashed a grand slam and plated a career-high seven runs to lead Triple-A El Paso to an 8-6 victory over Salt Lake at Smith's Ballpark.
Saturday night was all about lucky number seven for Matthew Batten.
The Padres prospect smashed a grand slam and plated a career-high seven runs to lead Triple-A El Paso to an 8-6 victory over Salt Lake at Smith's Ballpark.
Batten wasted no time extending his home run streak to three games. With one out and the bases full in the second inning, he ripped the first pitch he saw from starter Parker Bridwell for his second career grand slam, giving the Chihuahuas a 4-0 lead.
"I was just looking to hit something I could elevate to the outfield," Batten said. "He spun a slider and I tried to lift it and get at least one run."
An inning later, the 24-year-old faced the right-hander again with the bases loaded. This time, he settled for a single that scored Padres No. 16 prospect Austin Allen and Aderlin Rodriguez to make it 6-1. He grounded out in the fifth and reached on a throwing error in the seventh before recording his third knock of the night, a two-out RBI single in the ninth off southpaw Sam Freeman.
Gameday box score
"[Today] was exciting," Batten said, noting that some extra work with hitting coach Morgan Burkhart and fielding coach Lance Burkhart was starting to pay off. "I had some good situations to hit in and luckily got a few good pitches to hit. I took advantage of that and everything fell into place."
Batten is 14-for-34 (.412) with three homers and 13 RBIs over his last 10 games. The grand slam followed a two-run inside-the-park homer on Sunday and a solo shot on Monday, both against Fresno, the last two contests in which Batten appeared before Saturday. His seven RBIs fell one short of the El Paso team record, set by current Padres catcher Austin Hedges on July 10, 2016.
Selected in the 32nd round of the 2017 Draft, the utilityman has moved quickly through the Padres' talented farm system, reaching the Pacific Coast League in two years. After a two-game stint with Double-A Amarillo to start the season, the Quinnipiac product was promoted to El Paso, where he's batting .324/.374/.490 with six homers and 36 RBIs in 63 games.
El Paso banged out 11 hits, with eight of nine starters recording at least one. Jose Pirela went 2-for-5, while second-ranked prospect Luis Urías and No. 28 Ty France doubled. Rodriguez scored three times in support of starter Dietrich Enns (9-5), who gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings.
For Salt Lake, Wilfredo Tovar went 3-for-5 with a triple and Angels No. 25 prospect Brennon Lund and Jose Rojas hit solo homers. Taylor Ward was 2-for-4 with a double.
Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.