Kinston's Beau Mills insisted he was swinging the bat well despite his sub-.200 batting average entering Monday's game against Salem.
He finally had a performance to back up his positive feelings.
Mills homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs as the Indians topped the Avalanche, 10-5, at Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium.
"I felt good at the plate all year," Mills said. "I've been hitting the ball hard so I haven't been stressing. Tonight some things fell into place."
The 21-year-old first baseman blasted a grand slam in his first at-bat and finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored to raise his average from .195 to .234.
Mills, the 13th overall pick by Cleveland in the first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, hit a two-run shot in the sixth for his first career multi-homer game. The slam was his first homer since April 8, which was also the date of his last three-hit game.
"I want to go out tomorrow and try to repeat it," Mills said. "Doing it one time doesn't mean anything. You have to keep doing it. But I'm excited. ... My numbers don't show it, but I've been hitting good all season."
Mills has shown signs of breaking out, going 7-for-20 in his last five games. He also began his professional career in a slump, going 5-for-28 with a homer and three RBIs in eight games with Class A short-season Mahoning Valley. He improved after moving up to Class A Lake County, where he hit .271 with five homers and 36 RBIs in 44 games. Mills finished his first pro season with Kinston, hitting .275 with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games.
"I only played a little bit last season," he said. "But hopefully I can get something going and keep it going from here."
Jerad Head slugged a two-run homer and scored twice for the Indians (7-14).
Erik Stiller (1-0) picked up the win after giving up a hit and striking out two in 2 1/3 frames of scoreless relief. Joanniel Montero allowed a run on three hits in three innings for his first save.
Avalanche starter Douglas Arguello (1-2) surrendered six runs -- four earned -- on five hits and two walks in two frames.
Mark Ori drove in three runs and Jordan Parraz extended his on-base streak to 20 games for Salem (11-12).
Mills wasn't the only Minor Leaguer to snap out of a slump with a big effort Monday. Asheville's Helder Velazquez was batting .188 before going 3-for-5 with a grand slam and a career-high five RBIs in the Tourists' 6-3 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets.
Eric Justic 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.