Steven Proscia learned Monday how one big game can erase a week's worth of bad ones. He's also hoping the momentum can help erase the memory of a disappointing season.
Jackson's 23-year-old first baseman mashed three home runs Monday, all off No. 3 Dodgers prospect Zach Lee. It was the Seattle farmhand's third three-homer game as a pro -- he did it twice with Class A Advanced High Desert in 2012 -- and helped lift Double-A Jackson to a 7-3 victory over Chattanooga.
It was the first such feat for the Generals since Carlos Peguero belted a trio of long balls against Mobile on April 28, 2010.
All three of Proscia's roundtrippers were solo shots, giving him 10 in 83 Double-A games this season. The effort lifted his average to .202 with the Generals.
In his past eight games, Proscia had gone just 4-for-31 and that included a three-single game at Mobile on Aug. 22.
"I battled some adversity this year," he said. "A lot of this game is about confidence. To be able to have a night like that against a pitcher like Lee, it definitely makes you a little more confident in yourself and your ability."
Aside from his at-bats vs. Proscia, Lee was solid for Chattanooga, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on six hits over seven innings. Lee, ranked 58th on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list, struck out six and walked one.
Proscia belted the blasts off three different offerings from Lee. The first came in the third inning when he hit a leadoff homer off an 0-1 changeup, driving the ball out over the left-field wall. Lee had faced the minimum up until that point.
The first baseman came to bat with men on and two outs in the fourth, but his plate appearance was cut short when Denny Almonte was caught stealing for the inning's final out. Proscia then led off the fifth with another shot.
Lee again got ahead of Proscia in the at-bat, this time 0-2, but Proscia fouled off the first two-strike offering, then turned on a curveball and drove it out to left.
The final roundtripper came in the seventh after Lee had struck out Ramon Morla and Denny Almonte. Proscia worked a 1-0 count before Lee grooved him a fastball, and Proscia turned on the heater, mashing yet another long ball over the left-field fence.
"[Lee] was pretty around the zone," Proscia said. "For the most part, all night, he was throwing really well. He just made a couple of mistakes to me and I was able to hit them. Other than that, he pitched a great game."
The performance lifted Proscia's spirits after a trying summer with Jackson. The first baseman struggled mightily in the season's first four months, and on July 23, the Mariners demoted the right-hander back to High Desert.
Proscia reunited with Mavericks hitting coach Roy Howell and went to work making some mechanical adjustments. The hitter replicated the success he'd had with High Desert in 2012, posting a .306 average and a .936 OPS in 21 games.
The Suffern, N.Y. native returned to Double-A on Aug. 19, but had struggled in the eight games since. He worked hard with Jackson hitting coach Cory Snyder in that time, and also spent time Sunday talking with the Mariners' roving hitting instructor, Alvin Davis.
"I was talking yesterday to him about some mechanical stuff, trying to get a better feel for what works best for me," Proscia said. "I had been chasing a lot of balls down in the zone. I decided to change my stance, stand a little taller in the box and try to elevate my sights a little. I felt good today.
"The balls I swung at were pretty much belt-high, maybe a little below. I didn't chase anything down low. It's only been one day, but I'm happy with the results."
Jabari Blash added a three-run homer for the Generals in the eighth. For the Lookouts, Jeremy Moore hit his fourth Southern League homer this season -- a two-run shot.