Tony Thompson spent all of 2012 with Class A Advanced Stockton and had himself a pretty nice season. He hadn't quite gotten into that same rhythm this year ... until Saturday night.
The A's prospect doubled his home run output for the season, going yard twice and driving in six runs to power the Ports to a 17-7 triumph over the High Desert Mavericks.
Thompson, batting ninth as Stockton's designated hitter, took a slider from Mavericks starter Seong Gi Kim in the second inning and lifted it to right field for a three-run homer. In the third, he sent Tyler Blandford's offering over the center-field wall for a two-out, two-run shot.
"It felt great. I'd been struggling a little bit; to get on the ball a couple times and get us out to an early lead was nice," said Thompson, who added an RBI groundout in the fourth. "I got good pitches to hit up and over the plate and it felt good to do some damage on some pitches I could handle."
The 24-year-old hit .276/.344/.442 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in 94 games last year. After opening this season with a six-game hitting streak, he cooled off, falling into an 0-for-19 slump from April 10-16. He came into Saturday's game with five hits in his last 38 at-bats (.132).
The two-homer outburst helped right the ship. After the game, Thompson is batting .227/.307/.439 in 17 games. He also had a two-homer, six-RBI game last Aug. 8 against San Jose.
"It's something like that to get me going. When you've been struggling with the bat, anytime you have a game like that it gets you jump-started. And, hopefully, you keep it going to the next game," he said.
It was a big night for virtually everyone in the Ports lineup. Addison Russell, the 11th overall pick in last year's Draft, drilled his first full-season homer as part of a 2-for-4, three walk performance. The A's top prospect was hitting .174 but left with a .200/.365/.320 slash line.
"[Russell] seemed pretty excited," Thompson said. "He's got some real talent and he'd been struggling a little bit here, too. Hopefully, that'll help him break out. He's a real good player."
Antonio Lamas went 5-for-7 with an RBI and a run scored to raise his average 39 points to .347. He hadn't collected more than three hits in a game after Oakland signed him out of the Mexican League in the offseason.
"[Lamas] just gets hits, man. He's a grinder, every single at-bat," Thompson said. "Seems like he gets a hit every single at-bat."
Myrio Richard doubled twice, singled and scored twice, while Dusty Robinson went 3-for-5 and fell a double shy of the cycle on a four-RBI night. The Ports established season highs in runs and hits (19), falling one short with five homers.
"It was really fun. We'd been struggling as a team to win ballgames, and when everyone is swinging the bat, it's more fun," Thompson said. "Once somebody starts hitting, everybody gets in on it."
Seth Frankoff (1-0) got the win, allowing an unearned run on one hit in two innings after starter Deyvi Jimenez was charged with four runs on eight hits over four innings.