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07/18/2008 1:55 AM ET
King Conger rules the plate again
Rancho Cucamonga switch-hitter amasses five homers in six at-bats
Hank Conger went yard twice on a career-high six-RBI night for the Quakes. (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes)


It would have been tough for Hank Conger to top smacking three homers for Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday.

So he "settled" for two more blasts -- including a grand slam -- for a career-high six RBIs in the Quakes' 10-1 rout of the visiting High Desert Mavericks on Thursday.

The 20-year-old switch-hitting catcher/designated hitter slugged a two-run shot in the fourth inning to center field, then came back one frame later and belted a grand slam to left, both off of High Desert right-hander Alfredo Venegas. That gave him five homers over a span of six at-bats.

"I felt pretty confident from the previous game, really comfortable at the plate," Conger said. "It also was kind of surreal. I had never had a multi-homer game since I've been in the Minor Leagues, and here I did it in back-to-back nights. It was kind of crazy."

"(Wednesday) was incredible, and tonight was also incredible," added Conger's manager, Ever Magallanes. "It's a pleasure to see. The credit goes to him and the work he's done."

Conger and Magallanes also made a point to credit Quakes hitting coach Francisco Matos, who has been working to get the catcher back on track at the plate after a shoulder injury sidelined him for Spring Training and the first month of the season.

"My hitting coach has been awesome, he's been like my video camera," Conger said.

Conger went deep in his final three plate appearances in Wednesday's 6-1 win over High Desert.

Before the two-game outburst, Conger had just two homers and 21 RBIs. Over his last four games, he has eight homers, 14 RBIs and seven runs scored. He is now batting .303.

Ironically, another injury Conger suffered -- a jammed thumb he incurred while catching in the bullpen about three weeks ago -- may have contributed to his recent success.

"He tried to play through it, but we X-rayed it and found some ligament damage, so we shut him down from catching and he had more time just to concentrate on hitting," Magallanes said.

The manager said Conger's return to his catching duties is a "day-to-day" proposition, but he added, "I'm hoping it's soon." Conger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, the 25th selection overall.

Wednesday's performance also marked the first time he went deep from both sides of the plate in one game since he was a 12-year-old Little Leaguer in Orange County, Calif.

On Thursday, the Quakes (15-12) also got a two-run homer from Peter Bourjous in the eighth.

Sean O'Sullivan (11-4) allowed a run on four hits, fanning four and walking one over seven frames to pick up the win.

Venegas (5-4) surrendered six runs on eight hits, striking out one and walking one in five innings to take the loss for the Mavericks (11-15).

Alan Friedman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.