Zack Cox has been hitting on the road all season long. On Saturday night, he gave his hometown fans a window into his resurgence.
Cox went 3-for-5 with a pair of two-run homers to extend his hitting streak to eight games as Triple-A New Orleans downed visiting Round Rock, 8-2.
A .208 hitter entering play on May 30, the Marlins prospect is in the midst of a renaissance. Against the Express, he wasted no time building on his streak. After singling in the first inning, Cox went deep in the third to erase a one-run deficit for the Zephyrs.
An inning later, with a run already home on Juan Diaz's single, the 2010 first-round Draft pick did it again, blasting another two-run shot to right-center field.
Prior to Thursday night's series opener, Cox was batting .097 (4-for-41) at home. This weekend, the 25-year-old third baseman has seven hits in 13 trips to the plate, good for a .538 average to boost his home mark to .204.
"If you've ever been around the PCL, you know New Orleans isn't the easiest place to hit," Cox said. "When you go out to the West Coast and places like that, there are some easier ballparks to hit in, but when guys come to 'Nola,' they know it's a little bit more difficult place to hit."
During his eight-game hitting streak, Cox is 17-for-32 (.531) to lift his season average to .308 and his OPS to .937. He's bashed all five of his homers and has seven multi-hit efforts over those eight games.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball back up the middle," he said. "It's really the same as always. You don't really go into a game trying to mash like that, so I've just been sticking with my approach."
Cox's fourth-inning homer came in a five-run outburst that helped put the game out of reach. Derek Dietrich added a two-run jack of his own to cap the inning.
As the Zephyrs' offense came to life, top Marlins prospect Andrew Heaney (3-0) did the same in his fourth Triple-A start. Two days after his 23rd birthday, the left-hander turned in six one-run innings, allowing five hits and striking out nine while walking one.
"As a team, we're making a great comeback, trying to get first place in our division," Cox said. "Tonight was another big win. Every game is an important game, even in June. It'll matter once you get to August, so the team is pushing forward. We're scoring runs and hopefully, we continue to get 'Ws.'"
Round Rock starter Daniel McCutchen (1-5) took the loss after surrendering seven runs on 11 hits and two walks with one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings.