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Carson cranks three homers in slugfest06/05/2009 2:33 AM ET
By John Parker / Special to MLB.com
Thursday night's matchup between Sacramento and host Salt Lake turned into a shootout, and Matt Carson had the biggest weapon.
In a game that featured nine home runs and 37 hits, Carson smacked three long balls and collected four RBIs as the River Cats outslugged the Bees, 19-10.
"My first two at-bats were actually kind of ugly," the former fifth-round Draft pick said.
Carson lined out to the second baseman to end the first inning and led off the third with a pop out to short. With one out and one on in the fourth, he sent his seventh homer of the season over the right-field wall. The two-run shot gave the River Cats a 12-7 lead.
"They'd been pitching me away all series, so I was looking for something out over the plate," he said.
Carson led off the sixth with a line-drive single to left, then opened the eighth with a blast to left.
"The two at-bats when I was leading off, I think they were just trying to get ahead in the count," he said. "I was able to square some balls up."
Up again with two outs in the ninth, Carson completed a circuit of Spring Mobile Ballpark after mashing his third homer of the night, a solo shot to center.
It wasn't Carson's first professional three-homer game. He first accomplished the feat on April 24, 2006, with Tampa of the Class A Advanced Florida State League. He added a triple in a 4-for-4 outing in that contest as the Yankees beat the Sarasota Reds, 8-6.
Carson was drafted by the Yankees out of Brigham Young in 2002 and spent his first seven seasons in that organization. This year marks his first with Oakland and in the Pacific Coast League.
"I'm from the West -- grew up in California and went to school in Utah -- and I'd heard that the PCL was a pretty good place to hit," he said. "I've actually been struggling pretty good so far. I feel good at the plate and have the same approach as before, so maybe this will get things going."
Carson entered the game hitting .220 with 22 RBIs in 45 games and had one hit in his previous 11 at-bats.
Carson was joined on the scoresheet by Daric Barton, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored. Danny Putnam homered, doubled, singled and drove in four runs. Right fielder Chris Denorfia was 4-for-5 with a triple, two doubles and scored four runs.
Eric Patterson and Eric Munson added three hits apiece for Sacramento, which had 13 of its 21 hits go for extra bases.
Four different Salt Lake hitters went deep, with Brandon Wood going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs.
On a rough night for pitchers -- none of the 11 combined hurlers lasted three innings -- River Cats reliever Jerry Blevins earned his first victory of the season with 1 2/3 scoreless frames.
Salt Lake starter David Austen entered the game with a 2.12 ERA in three outings. He left with a 6.41 mark after yielding 10 earned runs on 10 hits over 2 2/3 innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.