If you ask Tyler Goeddel, a little rain isn't always a bad thing.
Before a rain delay that lasted more than two hours Tuesday night, the Rays' No. 16 prospect struck out with a runner in scoring position. After play resumed, he went 4-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead Class A Bowling Green to a 14-5 romp in Dayton.
"I was disappointed in my first at-bat, especially since with a runner on third with less than two outs, it's my job to get him in," Goeddel said. "In a way, it was good to have that break and clear my mind before we started playing again."
Even after the delay, Goeddel wasn't quite out of the weeds. With two down in the bottom of the second, the third baseman muffed a two-out grounder and Dayton went on to score four runs.
"It was a routine play. I thought I had it in my pocket and it bounced out," Goeddel said. "That's a play I should make every time."
After that, however, it was clear sailing for the 2011 first-round Draft pick. He earned some immediate redemption with RBI singles in the third and fourth.
"I was able to find some holes and put some strong at-bats together," he said. "Luckily, they resulted in hits."
In his next at-bat, he spotted an opportunity and seized it.
"I saw the third baseman [Tanner Rahier] was playing me back and I thought, 'I know if I can get good bunt down, I'll be able to have a hit.'"
Not only did he get a hit, he ended up on second after an errant throw by pitcher Wandy Peralta. Goeddel moved to third on a base hit by Justin O'Conner and scored on a single by Leonardo Reginatto.
The 20-year-old Californian walked in the eighth, which was a challenge, given the temptation that comes with swinging a hot bat in a high-scoring game.
"Even in a game like this, it's hard. I swung at a few pitches I know I shouldn't have swung at, but it's tough to stick with a game plan," Goeddel said. "If you can calm down just a little bit, though, it helps you to have a lot more success."
Goeddel was a Midwest League All-Star last year in his first crack at pro ball. He ended the season with a .246 average and .335 on-base percentage. Tuesday's four-hit game, his first of the season and third in the Minor Leagues, lifted his average to .237. And he's hitting .333 with 13 RBIs over his last 10 games.
Patrick Leonard, Tampa Bay's 20th-ranked prospect, chipped in two hits and two RBIs for Bowling Green. No. 13 prospect Jeff Ames pitched a 1-2-3 first inning before the rain came and Matthew Spann (1-0) picked up the win, despite allowing five unearned runs on seven hits in four frames.