Luis Sardinas didn't get off to the best start with the RoughRiders, but he seems to be buying into the axiom of finishing up strong.
The Rangers' No. 2 prospect slugged his first Texas League homer and drove in four runs as Double-A Frisco rallied past Corpus Christi, 10-6, on Wednesday. Then Ryan Rua sent the fans home happy with a walk-off grand slam.
Sardinas' homer, a three-run blast in the second inning, extended his hitting streak to 12 games. The 20-year-old shortstop plated his fourth run on a fielder's choice.
"He hit his homer right-handed and it was a no-doubter," hitting coach Jason Hart. "He feels really confident hitting from the right side. He feels like he has a little more pop from the right side."
During his hitting streak, which began on Aug. 16 against Tulsa, Sardinas is batting .310 (18-for-58) with seven runs scored. That stretch has boosted the Venezuela native's average 53 points to its current .256 mark. After being promoted to the RoughRiders on Aug. 1, Sardinas has 12 hits over his first 13 games. He went 1-for-5 on Wednesday.
"He just has a really good skill set," the former Major Leaguer said. "He's got great hands and eyes. He really knows his hitter ID. He doesn't try to do too much, especially from the left side. His biggest thing is to have a plan every at-bat. He knows that he's a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter.
"He's gonna get stronger. He's 20 years old. The balls are going to be carrying in those gaps and those balls are going to go for extra bases. [He just has to ] continue to become smarter and smarter at coming up with his approach."
Rua ended the game with by sending a blast out of Dr Pepper Ballpark with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The 23-year-old second baseman has gone yard in two straight games, and he was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the RoughRiders.
"He jumped on the first-pitch breaking ball and he hit it a long way," Hart said. "He's been trying so hard. He knows that the talent, it's a little better, but they're still throwing the same pitches at him. We're just working on having a stronger approach at the plate. We've seen what he can do in BP, the ball really comes off his bat hard."
Frisco's Kalian Sams slugged a two-run homer and scored twice.
Domingo Santana hit his 23rd long ball and Erik Castro slugged a solo shot for the Hooks.