Addison Russell took a lead off first base Sunday ready for a test.
With another runner at third base, High Desert's defense would be tested when he took off. And given it was his first time on base after two months on the disabled list, so would the hamstring of Oakland's top prospect.
"I was just putting pressure on the defense," the 20-year-old said. "Also, I'm at the point where I'm not hesitant to make that fast move, so I went for it and we were able to score a run off it."
Russell stole second safely in the first inning and Daniel Robertson notched the first run of the game before the Class A Advanced Mavericks rallied to top the Ports, 4-3.
Just seven at-bats into the season with Double-A Midland, the shortstop strained his right hamstring and had to be put on the disabled list. After spending time in Arizona to get his timing back, Russell singled in his first two at-bats.
"I just wanted to make sure I saw the ball well, fouled a couple pitches off and then got a good pitch to hit," he said. "It feels as if nothing happened. … It feels 100 percent, it feels strong. I've been strengthening and it feels great; I don't feel any tightness."
In the second, the Florida native drove in a run, and in the sixth, he worked a walk. Following the pregame plan, Russell left after seven innings, recording his third multi-hit game of the season in as many chances. The right-handed hitter went straight to the cold tub after his exit and said he felt good after that.
The 2012 11th overall Draft pick injured a different part of his hamstring during a Spring Training game with Oakland and had been sidelined for about three weeks prior to the start of the season, which has led to some additions to his pregame routine.
"I come in and go through my daily warmups, and I have to come in earlier than other players because of my hamstring," he said. "I get a soft tissue massage and do active warmups."
Russell's return to the RockHounds is currently uncertain, but in the meantime, he is enjoying playing with Matt Olson and No. 3 A's prospect Robertson for the first time since 2012.
"Matt and D-Rob are my best friends and we haven't hit together since [the Arizona League]. They've been hitting the ball well lately," Russell said. "It's great to be with them again."
Oakland's No. 2 prospect Billy McKinney plated a run in Stockton's defeat.
Ports reliever Jeremy Barfield (3-1) was charged with the two runs on two hits over 2/3 frames.
The Mavericks posted their runs in the seventh on RBI singles by No. 7 Mariners prospect Tyler Marlette and No. 10 Gabriel Guerrero.
Brett Shankin (3-1) worked around a hit in 3 2/3 scoreless frames in relief. Grady Wood picked up his third save after allowing a run on four hits while striking out four over three innings.