It had been 40 days and 40 nights without a home run for Jason Rogers, but the Huntsville first baseman opened the floodgates Saturday night.
Rogers became the third player in team history to record a three-homer game, establishing career highs with four hits and six RBIs in the Stars' 10-5 win over Pensacola at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
"It felt good. It's the first time I've ever hit three home runs -- in pro ball, college or anything," the Brewers prospect said.
Rogers started the night inauspiciously, striking out to lead off the second inning and making it 144 at-bats since he hit his last home run on May 27 against Tennessee.
"The guys were talking about [the home run drought] in batting practice. We talk about it all the time," he said. "They were wondering about when I was going to hit one."
The drought ended in the fourth when Rogers launched a two-run shot over the left-field fence off Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe. The 6-foot-2 right-handed batter blasted a solo homer to the same spot leading off the sixth against reliever Loek Van Mil, mixed in an RBI single in the seventh and ended his night with another two-run blast to left in the ninth off Trevor Bell.
The 25-year-old went 4-for-5 and is 9-for-16 over his last five games. The recent success has been a nice change of pace for Rogers, who posted a .384 OPS in June after notching a .904 OPS with eight home runs in May.
"My timing was off, I wasn't getting my foot down, fatigue set in a little bit, there was a lack of concentration here and there, and I wasn't really seeing the ball," Rogers said. "Now I'm trying to really see the ball, get the foot down."
A slightly strained left oblique muscle -- which he said hasn't fully healed -- cost the first baseman an appearance in the Southern League All-Star Game. The silver lining turned out to be almost a full week off and "no swings for two or three days," according to Rogers.
"I spent a lot of time with my family, with my wife. She was treating me, helping me out. I got a lot of treatment, me and the trainer [Steve Patera] did a lot of work," he said.
The Georgia native joined Jose Canseco (June 24, 1985) and Pete Zoccolillo (Aug. 23, 2002) as the only Stars to hit three homers in a game.
"It's an honor," Rogers said. "[Canseco] was a big leaguer, I'm trying to get there."
Rogers leads the league with 59 RBIs and moved into a tie for fifth with 13 homers, three behind Jacksonville's Kyle Jensen.
"I should have a lot more [RBIs], I left a lot of guys on base," he said. "Guys have been getting on for me, I should have driven them in."
David Goforth (4-1) earned the win by allowing a hit and striking out a pair over three innings in his first relief appearance of the season. Brewers top prospect Taylor Jungmann started for Huntsville and gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings.