A home run had been a long time coming for Alex Yarbrough. His wait was a lot shorter for the next one.
The Angels' ninth-ranked prospect homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs as Double-A Arkansas beat Northwest Arkansas, 9-2, on Thursday.
Yarbrough, who finished 3-for-5 and scored three times, slugged a three-run homer in the fourth inning -- his first of the season. Four innings later, the 22-year-old second baseman struck again for a three-run blast, giving him the first two-homer game of his career.
"The first home run I was looking for something up in the zone with a runner on third," Yarbrough said. "Luckily, I got it up high enough. Second was an 0-2 curveball that stayed up enough long enough for me to get the barrel on it. It's the first time I've hit two homers in a game, to do it here in Double-A is pretty neat."
The Texas native entered play without a home run in 38 Texas League games this season. In fact, Yarbrough had not homered since Aug. 1 while playing in the California League for Class A Advanced Inland Empire, a stretch totaling 277 at-bats.
"Sometimes that's how it goes," he said. "I was hitting the ball well and I have been hitting the ball pretty well most of this year. It is pretty funny, it feels great to get the first one in a while, but it is funny to get two in three at-bats after not having one in 150 at-bats this year."
Despite the lack of long balls, Yarbrough has put together a solid year thus far, batting .308 with 25 RBIs, the latter total tying him for fourth in the Texas League. The Ole Miss product leads the circuit with 48 hits and is tied for second with 12 doubles for the Travelers. Yarbrough has gotten into a bit of a groove this month, posting a .904 OPS in 13 May contests.
"I've been happy with it," he said of his season. "Everyone says, and I agree, that the biggest jump is from high-A to Double-A. Every pitcher you face has plus stuff and plus command. I've felt pretty consistent for the most part and my confidence keeps growing more and more that I play at this level. I've been pretty happy with it thus far."
Brian Hernandez plated a pair of runs and Adam Melker reached base four times while scoring twice out of the leadoff spot for Arkansas.
Kramer Sneed gave up two runs -- one earned -- on five hits over five innings to improve to 4-3 for Arkansas. Veteran left-hander Sean Burnett gave up a hit and fanned three over a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance.
Sam Selman, the Royals' No. 12 prospect, fell to 2-3 after giving up six runs -- five earned -- on six hits over 3 2/3 innings for the Naturals.