Tony Thompson has a simple philosophy.
"As long as I'm playing, I'm happy," he said.
California League pitchers would likely be inclined to be less flexible. Especially if he plays the way he did Monday night.
Thompson homered twice and plated seven runs in the fifth inning of Class A Advanced Stockton's 16-4 romp over Lake Elsinore. The first of his roundtrippers plated three to start the scoring in the frame and the second capped the big inning with a grand slam.
Thompson had previously enjoyed two two-homer, six-RBI games, one at High Desert on April 27, and one against San Jose last Aug. 8. He also hit two longballs on Aug. 4, 2011 for Class A Burlington in the Midwest League.
But he'd never part of an offensive outburst like Monday's fifth inning. The Storm had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the frame and the Ports responded disproportionately with the 11-spot.
"Eleven runs in an inning is pretty crazy," Thompson said."That was great, to be able to come out and help our pitchers like that. I had two home runs against High Desert a couple weeks ago. But two home runs in an inning? No. Never. I've never done that before in my life."
The first came off Lake Elsinore starter Brandon Alger (0-5), who got Oakland's top prospect Addison Russell to fly out to right, but then walked Max Muncy and Rashon Dixon. Thompson got ahead in the count, 2-1, and hammered the next offering over the fence in left-center.
"He threw me a fastball over a part of the plate that I can handle," Thompson said. "I'm working on getting pitches I can handle, trying not to think too much, just getting good pitches and putting a good swing on the ball."
It worked in that at-bat, and then again when he stepped to the dish against the Storm's John Hussey (0-1) one out, four singles, two walks and an error later. This time, Russell was on third, Muncy on second and Dixon on first. Thompson drove the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence.
"Again, it was a pitch I knew I could handle," he said. "The second one, I thought it was gone more [than I did] the first one. The first one, I wasn't quite sure. I thought it might be a homer, but the second one I knew."
The 24-year-old third baseman had committed a fielding error in the top half of the inning, which plated San Diego's No. 11 prospect Jace Peterson. He also misplayed a ball off the bat of Luis Domoromo in the sixth and was charged with a throwing error.
"As far as defense goes, today was a pretty bad day, so I was lucky to be able to do what I did at the plate," Thompson said. "They weren't bad hops or anything like that. I just missed them. But I'll go out there tomorrow and be ready to move on and play some better defense."
Monday's homers were his second and third in two games. Before his 2-for-3 game Sunday, he'd been in a 1-for-16 rut.
The A's picked Thompson in the sixth round of the 2010 Draft, and he's back with Stockton after hitting .276 with 11 homers and 22 doubles last year.
"I'm just happy to have the chance to play," he said. "The Cal League is a great league. I'm playing with great players here, and I'm on a team with a great group of guys. The clubhouse is really fun. We have a lot of fun together. Everybody on this team is friends."
Muncy was 4-for-4 and Russell singled, walked and knocked in a run. Myrio Richard was the only other Ports player to homer.