Matt den Dekker narrowly missed a cycle Tuesday. Rather than be upset, he offered an understatement.
"I had a good game," the Mets outfield prospect said, "so I couldn't complain."
The 26-year-old was a double shy of the feat during a 3-for-4 outing. He tallied five RBIs, four runs scored and a pair of walks, pacing Triple-A Las Vegas in a 21-9 win over El Paso.
"It was pretty windy out there and it was a pretty interesting game," he said. "I don't remember the last time I was in a game that high-scoring. It was probably back in high school. I don't remember ever being in a game like that in college or in the pros."
The five RBIs mark a career high for den Dekker, whose day at the dish started with a two-RBI single in the 51s' seven-run first.
"They called [Chihuahuas starter Ruben Mejia] up because they need pitching and I knew he'd want to be around the plate. He threw me a first-pitch fastball and I pulled it through the hole," said the left-handed hitter. "We got things going from there."
The next inning, den Dekker tripled in Allan Dykstra, who also had five RBIs in the game and was a triple short of the cycle.
El Paso reliever Tony Sipp entered the game in the sixth. After Sipp retired Dykstra on a groundout, den Dekker crushed a home run to center field.
"That was a good at-bat for me. It was against a lefty. I've struggled against lefties, [although] I feel a lot better this year against them," said the University of Florida product. "I was trying for a solid at-bat. He left a slider up a little bit and I was able to hit it hard in the air."
The only time he was retired during the game, den Dekker stepped to the plate with runners on second and third in the seventh. He grounded out to second, but plated No. 4 Mets prospect Wilmer Flores.
Flores had a pair of hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in the win.
Veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur pitched a shutout eighth for the Chihuahuas and was the only El Paso hurler to make a scoreless appearance. He'd also twirled a perfect frame against the 51s in Las Vegas' 11-4 win Sunday.
"He came in and shut us down. He had some good stuff actually," den Dekker said. "It's always tough when you have to suddenly hit against a position player. I don't know if it's tougher, but he came in and threw strikes."
San Diego farmhand Brooks Conrad homered twice and doubled in a 4-for-5 performance, knocking in three of the Chihuahua's nine runs.
The 51s lead the Pacific Coast League with 138 runs scored in 20 games and have not yet been blanked.
"I think this whole season we've been swinging the bats well," den Dekker said. "We've won every series so far. We play hard and we know we always have a chance to win."