For the first week of July, it appeared that the dog days of summer might have been taking a toll on Reds prospect Jesse Winker.
Now after homering in consecutive games and plating eight runs in the space of 48 hours, those troubles appear to just be a midseason mirage.
Cincinnati's No. 10 prospect cleared the fences and drove home four runs for the second night in a row as the Class A Dayton Dragons' outslugged the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a 13-9 win Thursday evening.
Batting third and playing left field, 2012 first-rounder Winker slugged a three-run homer to left field in the first inning.
He then plated Brent Peterson with a sacrifice fly ball to left in the fifth before drawing a pair of free passes in his final two plate appearances.
The long ball was the 19-year-old left-hander's 11th of the year, while his four RBIs lifted his total to a team-best 54.
Selected by the Reds 49th overall in 2012, Winker had collected just four singles and one RBI in 30 at-bats in the first eight games of July. Wednesday's roundtripper was his first since June 14, a spell of 21 games, during which time his average has dropped 20 points.
In his debut season with Rookie-level Billings in 2012, the Florida native hit .338 with five homers and 35 RBIs in 62 Pioneer League games.
On Thursday, Dayton's Tony Amezcua (3-1) earned the win in relief of starter Ismael Guillon, who yielded four runs over the first four innings. Amezcua gave up three runs on three hits and a walk over 1 1/3 frames.
Dragons catcher Brandon Dailey contributed a three-run homer and first baseman Seth Mejias-Brean and third baseman Tanner Rahier added collected three hits apiece in the victory. At three hours and 37 minutes, the game fell 19 minutes short of setting a franchise record.
Cedar Rapids starter Josue Montanez fell to 3-2 on the year after allowing 10 runs -- nine earned -- on seven hits and six walks over four frames.