Mookie Betts gripped the bat in the ninth inning. With a 2-1 count, he was looking for a fastball. Instead, he got a changeup from Matthew Summers and smacked it over the left-field wall for his second home run of the season.
The Red Sox's No. 6 prospect extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 4-for-5 with three runs scored on Saturday night as Double-A Portland topped New Britain, 6-1, for its fourth straight win.
"I just saw the ball well tonight, just kept with my routine and it just came together for me," said Betts, who has reached base safely in 43 consecutive games dating back to Aug. 2.
The 21-year-old second baseman recorded his second four-hit game of the season to raise his Eastern League-leading batting average to .453. He also tops the circuit in on-base percentage (.492), total bases (38) and runs scored (17).
"It's a long season," he said. "You have days where you feel more comfortable than others, just have to keep working."
Betts already was named the league's Hitter of the Week after totaling 16 hits, four RBIs and four stolen bases through the first nine games of the season. He said he couldn't remember a time when he started a season this productive.
MLB.com's No. 60 overall prospect split time last season between Class A Greenville and Class A Advanced Salem, slashing .341/.417/.506 before a stint in the Arizona Fall League.
"Worked hard in the offseason, just trying to come up with an approach [of] staying through the middle," he said. "Getting on base is my main goal as a leadoff hitter, but I'm looking to drive the ball."
Betts did that on Saturday at New Britain Stadium, lining a single to open the game before racing home on a double by Shannon Wilkerson to put the Sea Dogs ahead for good. He also led off the third with a base hit and reached on an infield single in the fifth before clearing the fence in the ninth.
Wilkerson and Blake Swihart -- Boston's fourth-ranked prospect -- finished with two hits apiece.
Portland starter Mike Augliera (2-1) allowed two hits over six innings in his first scoreless outing of the season. He struck out two and walked two after giving him four runs in each of his first two starts.
Matt Koch accounted for the Rock Cats' offense with his first homer of the season in the seventh off reliever Mike McCarthy.
New Britain's Sean Gilmartin (1-2) was charged with three runs on seven hits while striking out nine over five innings.