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Travs' Lindsey poised for breakout
Slumping Angels prospect homers to highlight seven-run sixth
05/10/2013 1:34 AM ET
Taylor Lindsey has 15 RBIs through 31 games for Double-A Arkansas.
Taylor Lindsey has 15 RBIs through 31 games for Double-A Arkansas. (Walter Barnard/MiLB.com)

Taylor Lindsey never thought it was a matter of if he'd end his season-opening slump. It was more of a matter of when. If his recent play is any indication, the time could very well be now.

The Angels' No. 4 prospect, who entered the contest batting .202 with a .591 OPS through 30 contests, went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in Double-A Arkansas' 7-3 win over Tulsa on Thursday.

The home run -- Lindsey's fourth on the season and third in his last 10 games -- highlighted a seven-run sixth inning for the Travelers, although that wasn't precisely his aim.

"I was just trying to get a pitch I could put over their heads," he said. "We had guys at second and third with one out, so their infielders were in. I just wanted to get a ball up, and when I got what I was looking for, I got a good swing on it."

Angels' top prospect Kaleb Cowart, Robbie Widlansky and Matt Long combined to drive in Arkansas' other four runs in the inning and provide the only offense the visiting squad would need at ONEOK Field.

"It's amazing when you have that going," Lindsey said. "First off, it gives the guys who are pitching plenty of time to rest. And then, it's always fun when you're going around and around and around as a team and everyone's squaring up the ball. It's great to be a part of."

For the second baseman, who also hit a leadoff single in the fifth, Thursday marked his second straight multi-hit game and the second time this season that he has put together two or more hits in consecutive games. He's 6-for-15 with six RBIs over his last four games.

That's more reminiscent of the player who has made a name for himself with the bat since being taken in the first round (37th overall) by the Angels in the 2010 Draft.

Lindsey put together a .289/.328/.408/.736 slash line last season at Class A Advanced Inland Empire en route to a California League postseason All-Star nod. It was his second straight season-ending award after earning Pioneer League MVP and All-Star honors with Orem in 2011.

But the results had not translated to the Texas League at the beginning of this season, and that led to some extra work with the Travelers coaching staff.

"I know I've struggled here in the first couple weeks," Lindsey said. "So I did my best to try to get into the cage to work on going oppo more and staying more square to the ball. A lot of the credit goes to [manager] Tim Bogar and [hitting coach] Ernie Young for helping me. They really stuck by my side and kept telling me to go hard and that things would change."

After Thursday's performance, Lindsey's batting average (.213), slugging percentage (.370) and OPS (.633) all sit at season highs. Even if the numbers don't exactly pop off the stat sheet, it's a start, and the second baseman will certainly take that.

"Yeah, it's definitely given me more confidence up there," Lindsey said. "I'm feeling more comfortable up there lately, and I feel like I can do some damage every time I step up to the plate."

Long finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, two RBIs and a run scored in the win, becoming the first Traveler to complete a four-hit game this season.

Arkansas starter Brandon Hynick allowed one run on six hits over seven innings to improve to 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Sam Dykstra 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.
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