John Lindsey's player page
See Lindsey play at Cashman Field
Visit the official 51s team shop
After homering in three consecutive at-bats Saturday, John Lindsey said he was hoping his teammates would finally leave him alone. Of course, seven RBIs in a game are grounds for some newfound respect.
Lindsey, a hitting machine since his return to the Minor Leagues last spring, went deep three times and drove in a career-high seven runs to power the Las Vegas 51s to a 10-3 victory over the Portland Beavers at PGE Park.
The 31-year-old first baseman wasn't worried about any dugout comments. And his Reggie Jackson-like performance quickly quieted Beavers' fans as well.
"[My teammates] were joking, they were hassling me earlier that I didn't have a lot of home runs," Lindsey said with a laugh after hitting his fifth, sixth and seventh homers of the season. "Hopefully, this will take them off of me a little bit."
Lindsey fell a homer shy of the club record set by Eddie Williams, who also drove in 10 runs against Calgary on April 22, 1998.
"I felt pretty good," Lindsey said. "In BP, I just try to do the same all the time. After I hit the first one, it kind of relaxes you."
Lindsey apparently was even more relaxed in the third inning, when he hit a three-run shot off reliever Dirk Hayhurst as part of a four-run rally. That was an inning after he slugged a two-run homer off starter Wade LeBlanc.
The Mississippi native struck again against Hayhurst in the fifth with a two-run drive to left field. That one, he said, was his most impressive.
"It felt good when I hit it," he said. "It was probably my best one of the night. I couldn't believe it."
Lindsey said his first blast came on an inside fastball.
"I was just able to get the barrel on it," he explained. "I always try to see a fastball and adjust to everything else."
Lindsey proved his point in the third when he deposited an 0-1 fastball over the left-field fence. His third homer came on an 0-2 slider.
"I was ready for it," he said.
It was his best performance since collecting a career-high six RBIs against Portland last July 17. He had three multi-homer games last season and drove in at least four runs on eight occasions.
The Dodgers farmhand insisted he wasn't even thinking about swinging for the fences, even after hitting two out of the park.
"I hit them trying to get base hits, so I stuck with the same thing in the third at-bat," said Lindsey, who was waiting on-deck in the ninth and missed a final chance for a fourth home run. "Everybody was trying to get a hit, but I'll tell you, I'll take what I had tonight any day of the week."
Lindsey's seven RBIs would be a respectable week for most hitters. And respect is what Lindsey has earned since returning to the Minors. Not long ago, the former Rockies prospect was just fighting for a second chance.
"It's awesome. Two years ago, I thought I was out of the game," said Lindsey, who was released by Florida in 2005 and spent two seasons in an independent league. "And now to get a chance to be here, it's really a blessing. I'm really excited. I'm just trying to ride it."
The ride is finally becoming a smooth one for Lindsey. His road to success has been a long, sometimes frustrating one -- he has spent eight of his 14 seasons in Class A and has bounced between the Minors and the independent CanAm League in recent years. The former 13th-round draft pick, who drove in a career-best 93 runs in 2002, said some coaching tips a year ago turned around his career.
"I had a coach tell me I was working on hitting too many grounders and line drives. 'You're not that fast, you're not going to make any money on the ground. Put a little lift into it,'" Lindsey recalled.
Over the last two seasons, he has 28 homers in 108 games between Double-A Jacksonville and Las Vegas. Now he's hopeful he can finally reach the Majors.
"They just called up Luis Maza, and that's a blessing for him, to get his opportunity," Lindsey said of his recently promoted former teammate. "You hear stories about guys getting chances, so it keeps me inspired, keeps me going."
Major League veteran Jason Johnson (5-2) struck out six and allowed three runs -- one earned -- on six hits over 6 2/3 innings for the 51s.
LeBlanc (2-4), the Padres' second-round pick in 2006, was tagged for six runs on six hits and a pair of walks over 2 1/3 innings.
Brian Myrow went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Portland.
Danny Wild 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.