D.J Peterson feels best when he's driving the ball with authority to the opposite field. When he's driving the ball out of the opposite field, it's even better.
The Mariners' No. 2 prospect blasted two homers and drove in four runs on Sunday afternoon, helping spark Class A Advanced High Desert to a 10-1 romp over visiting Lancaster.
"When I'm using the right-center gap, that's when I feel like I'm pretty locked in," Peterson said. "The games vary, and I could easily go 0-for-4 in my next game, but that's when I know I'm seeing it good and staying in front of the baseball again."
Peterson's second career multi-homer game and first since July 6 with Short-Season Everett, came with his mother's name emblazoned on his pink bats for Mother's Day. It also continued an impressive May for the corner infielder, who batted .269 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 19 games in April. In 10 contests this month, he's hitting .348 while matching his April home run total and driving in 13 runs.
"The first month, I was trying to do a little too much," Peterson said. "I saw the wind going to left and was trying to yank balls. I think I just got back to my normal college approach that I had beforehand, stuck up the middle and went to the right side."
The University of New Mexico product belted a solo homer in the bottom of the first, going the other way to give the Mavericks the lead. High Desert added two tallies in the third on a force attempt off the bat of Jabari Henry and an error charged to third baseman and Astros' No. 11 prospect Rio Ruiz.
Peterson clubbed a three-run shot to highlight a five-run fifth that put the game firmly in the Mavericks' control. The 22-year-old batted with runners aboard in three of his five trips to the plate.
"It's a lot easier to work when there's guys on base," he said. "It made it a lot easier for me to do what I have to do. Those guys saw a lot of pitches. They made [Lancaster starter Chris Devenski] throw a lot of balls, and that made him have to come right at me."
The Mavericks totaled 13 hits and batted 18 times with runners in scoring position. Henry was the only member of the lineup without a hit, but he walked twice, scored twice and added an RBI.
Devenski (1-5) was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on five hits and a walk while striking out five over 4 1/3 innings.
Back from a four-start stint in the Double-A Southern League, High Desert starter Jochi Ogando (1-1) allowed two hits over five scoreless frames. He struck out four without issuing a walk.