After some early struggles in his new environment, Anaheim outfielder Travis Witherspoon may be starting to figure out the Texas League.
The Angels' No. 14 prospect went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and a season-high five RBIs in the Double-A Arkansas Travelers' 8-3 win over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Tuesday.
Batting sixth and playing center field, Witherspoon laced an RBI double to left field with one out in the second inning and he added a three-run homer to left field with two away in the fourth. He singled to right field to plate C.J. Cron in the sixth, and needing a triple to complete his cycle bid, struck out in his final at-bat of the evening.
It was Witherspoon's fourth three-hit game of the year and raised his average to .223. He hasn't hit above .227 this season.
Now in his fifth year of pro ball, the 6-foot-2 right-hander came into the Texas League with high expectations. He hit .319 in 67 Cal League games before his promotion to Arkansas last summer, but batted .202 in 54 contests with the Travelers.
This season started just as poorly. The 24-year-old South Carolina native was hitting just .167 on May 12 -- 34 games into the season. Since then Witherspoon, selected by the Angels in the 12th round of the 2009 Draft, is batting .237 (54-for-228) with six homers and 19 RBIs.
On Tuesday, Arkansas starter Brandon Hynick (10-3) allowed three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters over six innings. Right fielder Randal Grichuk was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs at the top of the lineup, third baseman Cowart collected a pair of hits and scored three times and first baseman Cron was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Northwest Arkansas' Andy Ferguson (2-4) yielded five runs on six hits and a walk. He fanned five batters over 4 1/3 innings.