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Borenstein, Arkansas run wild in Frisco
Angels' left-field prospect steals four bases, including home in win
04/08/2014 12:14 AM ET
Zach Borenstein stole five bases in 10 attempts with Inland Empire in 2013. (Mike Andruski/High Desert Mavericks)

Wherever Arkansas left fielder Zach Borenstein needed to be Monday night, he had no intention of taking his time to get there.

The No. 11 Angels prospect swiped a career-high four bases -- including home once -- as the Double-A Travelers topped the Frisco RoughRiders, 8-1, in the first game of a twinbill.

The effort marked his fifth multi-steal game and the first time he swiped more than two bags in the Minors. With a 3-for-4 day at the plate, he also fell one hit shy of matching his career high of four, achieved four times and most recently with Class A Advanced Inland Empire against San Jose last Aug. 31.

"It was a good day. I don't know if I've ever had four steals before actually," Borenstein said. "I didn't even realize I had four until one of our coordinators told me later in the game because I didn't know I would get credit for stealing home because it came on a delayed steal."

Selected by the Angels in the 23rd round of the 2011 Draft out of Eastern Illinois University, Borenstein swiped 30 bases in 41 attempts in his first three professional seasons between the Angels' Rookie-level Arizona League affiliate, Class A Cedar Rapids and Inland Empire.

He stole just five in 10 attempts last year, but healthy again and with a more aggressive game plan on the bases, the 23-year-old hopes to cause a lot more problems for opposing teams.

Borenstein tore his left hip flexor last June 15, three days before the California/Carolina League All-Star Game. After missing almost a month of action, he attempted just two steals in the remaining 47 games of the season, in large part because he was limited to designated hitter duties in 25 of those contests to protect his hip.

"I never really felt like I had my legs under me," he said. "I'm good now, 100 percent. I'm not a burner, but I have decent speed. I won't get 70 bags, but I don't like to forget that I can run.

"We weren't really a running team [in Inland Empire], but ever since this team got together, [manager] Phillip Wellman that if we don't take off running he'll be upset. The aggressive mind-set is pretty contagious. There are a lot of different ways to play this game."

The Illinois native singled, stole second base and scored in the second inning and he grounded out to end the third.

In the fifth, Borenstein laced an RBI single to right field, advanced to third base on Michael Snyder's single and then swiped home on the back end of a double steal.

"That was something called from my manager," he said of stealing home. "That wasn't just me running on my own. In that situation, the third baseman was back so he wasn't holding me on. As soon as I saw the catcher getting ready to throw down, I was taking off."

In the seventh, Borenstein plated Kaleb Cowart from second base on an RBI single to right field, stole second and third and came round to score on Jett Bandy's sacrifice fly.

The Travelers stole seven bases off RoughRiders backstop Tomas Telis, who ranked third among Texas League catchers having thrown out 32 percent (37-of-115) would-be thiefs last year.

John Frierson holds the Texas League record with six stolen bases in a game for Houston on July 26, 1907.

Kramer Sneed (1-0) allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out one batter over six innings to earn the win. Frisco's Jimmy Reyes (0-1) took the loss after giving up a pair of runs on two hits and two walks in an inning of relief.

The Travelers swept the doubleheader with a 3-1 victory in Game 2, in which Borenstein did not play. Andy Workman, in the lineup instead of Borenstein, went 2-for-3 with all three RBIs.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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