Modesto will be glad to see the last of slugging outfielder Devin Harris for a while. Unfortunately now it's Bakersfield's turn to try and cool off the Minors' hottest hitter.
The reigning California League Offensive Player of the Week homered for the sixth consecutive game Tuesday in the Class A Advanced San Jose Giants' 8-5 loss to the Blaze.
"I've always been a humble person and I'm concentrating on game by game and at-bat by at-bat," he said. "I'm not focusing on accolades, that's definitely not my goal.
"I would rather be regarded as a good hitter than a power hitter. I'm not going out there trying to hit home runs just for the sake of a streak."
Since April 24, the 25-year-old is batting .440 with seven longballs and 16 RBIs. No San Jose batter has homered in six consecutive games in at least eight years.
Harris hit his ninth homer of the season in the first inning of Tuesday's contest. Right-hander Jake Johnson fell behind, 2-0, and Harris fouled off the third pitch he saw. He did not miss the next offering, turning on the 2-1 pitch and depositing it over the left-field wall.
"We had never seen this pitcher before," said Harris, who had not been on the losing end in seven games this season in which he had gone deep. "He had already thrown me a slider, but I don't really sit on much at that point in the count. I'm just reacting to pitches.
"It's the first time we've played this team this year, so it's hard to guess on a certain pitch in a certain count."
The 6-foot-3 right-handed hitter struck out on six pitches in the third and grounded into a double play in the fifth. He singled to right field to lead off the eighth, but he was picked off by Carlos Gonzalez with the potential tying run at the plate.
With Tuesday's outing, Harris tied Fort Myers slugger Miguel Sano for the Minor League home run lead with nine. He leads the California League with 17 extra-base hits, 65 total bases and 26 RBIs, the latter of which is two behind West Virginia's Josh Bell and Fresno's Brett Pill for the most in the Minors.
Harris' power run started in the second of six consecutive contests against Modesto on Wednesday, when he took Nuts starter Tyler Gagnon deep for a three-run homer -- his third of the year.
The East Carolina product cracked a solo shot off reliever Nick Schnaitmann on Thursday and then cleared the fences twice Friday, the second of which snapped a 4-4 tie in the 12th inning.
The following day he smacked a two-run homer off Nuts starter Ben Alsup, and on Sunday, he was one of three Giants to take Daniel Winkler yard.
"I've had some good stretches, but nothing quite like this," Harris said. "The only one I can remember was three straight games in school, but obviously the games are spread out and it's harder to get in a rhythm.
"The team comes first. I want the team to win first and the numbers to come second. At the start of the season our manager [Andy Skeels] told us that if we focus on the team, your numbers will come if you play the game the right way."
On Tuesday, Bakersfield first baseman Dominic D'Anna was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and backstop Chris Berset collected two hits, a walk and three RBIs in the win.
Bakersfield starting pitcher Johnson (2-1) yielded five runs on nine hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked one.
San Jose starter Clayton Blackburn allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out eight batters over six innings. He did not factor in the decision.