It was like a dream for Kinston's Joshua Rodriguez and a nightmare for Lynchburg pitchers Thursday.
Rodriguez hit two homers and plated a career-high nine runs to lead the host Indians to a 22-10 slugfest victory over the Hillcats on Thursday.
"This morning, I woke up thinking about my swing," the 22-year-old said. "I've been struggling for the last week-and-a-half. It still hasn't hit me yet."
Rodriguez launched a two-run blast to left-center field in the second inning and knocked in two more runs with a double in the third.
"I knew I had four, it didn't even cross my mind that I'd get another chance to drive in five more," he said.
When he came to bat with the bases loaded in the seventh, Rodriguez cranked his 12th homer to left field for a grand slam.
"Once I made contact, I knew it was a home run," he said. "It felt like another home run."
His second slam of the season gave him his first career multi-homer game. He eclipsed his previous career high, a six-RBI game he had against Wilmington on May 30, coincidentally the same game in which he hit his first grand slam.
Despite his clinic at the plate, Rodriguez added that his game is not a perfect one. The shortstop pointed to his team-leading 28 errors as a big piece of the puzzle that he's working on.
"I'm working on my all-around game. I have a few holes in my defense," he said. "And I'm still working on my hitting."
Rodriguez and his teammates hammered out 19 hits and saw plenty of fastballs, the result of pitchers falling behind in counts and leaving pitches up in the zone, which led to a season-high 12 walks as well as a new mark for runs scored for the Indians (24-14).
"It was one of those nights -- the hitting was contagious," Rodriguez said. "We're a pretty solid hitting ball club. We have a lot of speed and power."
Jared Goedert chipped in five RBIs and three runs scored on a three-hit night, and Jose Constanza drove in four runs and scored three times. Armando Camacaro finished 3-for-3 with four runs and two RBIs. Wes Hodges went 4-for-5, crossed the plate four times and hit a solo homer in the fourth, his ninth for Kinston.
Indians reliever Christopher Niesel (3-0) yielded one hit over four shutout innings, striking out four. Starter Frank Herrmann allowed 10 runs on 12 hits over four frames with two strikeouts and two walks.
Steven Lerud cranked two homers and four RBIs -- his first career multi-homer game and the second time this season he plated four runs. Jamie Romak added a three-run shot in the third, his 11th, and Ulyses Davenport went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Hillcats (17-22).
Lynchburg reliever Patrick Bresnehan (4-3) gave up five runs on three hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings, and starter Jean Garavito allowed six runs on four hits and three walks in 1 1/3 frames with a strikeout.
Michael Blinn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.