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Stars' Haniger continues power surge
Brewers' No. 5 prospect homers twice for third time in eight games
06/12/2014 1:00 AM ET
Mitch Haniger was selected 38th overall in the 2012 Draft out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. (Huntsville Stars)

Like the passengers on Noah's Ark, Mitch Haniger's home runs keep coming in pairs.

The Brewers' No. 5 prospect recorded his third two-homer game in just over a week on Wednesday night as Double-A Huntsville outlasted Chattanooga, 3-2, in 11 innings.

Haniger got the scoring started with one out in the fourth, slugging a solo shot off Lookouts starter Andres Santiago. Two innings later, with the Stars trailing by a run, he knotted things up with a leadoff blast off Santiago.

"I was just trying to keep hitting the ball hard," said Haniger, who has climbed into a fifth-place tie in the Southern League with 10 homers. "Swing at good pitches, stay in the middle of the field and I got some good pitches to hit."

The 23-year-old outfielder also homered twice and drove in four runs on June 4 at Jackson and slugged a pair of two-run blasts on Tuesday against Chattanooga. While he has six homers and 11 RBIs in 11 games this month, the California native said he hasn't changed much at the plate.

"Nothing really different mechanically or approach-wise," Haniger said. "I'm just squaring balls up a little more than I was earlier in the season. I didn't have a fantastic start, but things are starting to turn around. Sticking with the process, not worrying about the results and just focus on hitting good pitches."

After batting .193 with three homers in April, Haniger saw his average rise to .314 in May, although he hit just one long ball. He's batting .308 with a .769 slugging percentage in June.

"It's good see some hard work pay off," the 2012 first-round pick said. "It's baseball -- sometimes you're hot, sometimes you're not. You just have to go out there with the same intensity and the same preparation as you do when you're going good. I think I've been good about that this year and it's good to start seeing some results."

Given his recent success, it might be easy to start expecting homers to come in bunches. But Haniger said he tries not to think about it.

"It crosses my mind, but I'm just trying to stay with the same approach that's allowing me to hit homers," he said. "I'm not trying to change anything, just trying to hit the ball hard, swing at good pitches. If everything is perfect, I'll hit one out and if not, I'm just trying to hit a line drive up the middle. Good things happen when I stay within myself."

With the Southern League All-Star Game still a week away, Haniger is one homer from matching the career high he established last year with Class A Wisconsin and Class A Advanced Brevard County.

Having already locked up the first-half North Division title, the Stars walked off with their league-best 43rd win when Kentrail Davis doubled home Adam Weisenburger with two outs in the 11th.

Casey Medlen (4-0) allowed one hit over three scoreless innings for the win.

Noel Cuevas slugged a solo homer for the Lookouts.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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