It's not uncommon for a player to slump upon a return to the Minor Leagues. That scenario doesn't seem to have befallen Oscar Taveras.
The Cardinals' No. 1 prospect collected his second four-hit game of the season as Triple-A Memphis fell to Round Rock, 9-1, on Thursday.
Taveras finished with four singles on a 4-for-5 night. His only out came when he flied out to open the frame. The 22-year-old outfielder previously collected four hits on May 20 against Colorado Springs.
The native of the Dominican Republic returned to the Pacific Coast League on June 13 after an 11-game stint in the Majors. Taveras batted .189 with one homer in 37 at-bats for St. Louis and returned when Matt Adams was activated from the disabled list. The lack of consistent playing time at the big-league level was a concern for the Cardinals.
"The way everybody should think about it is simply that we need Oscar to be playing every day," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told MLB.com at the time. "If we weren't going to be able to get him everyday at-bats here, he's better off doing it in Memphis. I do think that his time up here was valuable, I think he learned a lot. It wouldn't surprise me if at some point he was back here with the club."
The consistent playing time does seem to have paid off for MLB.com's No. 2 prospect. He's batting .292 (14-for-48) with nine RBIs in 12 games and is currently on a four-game hitting streak.
Overall, Taveras is seventh in the Pacific Coast League with a .323 average and is tied for ninth with 49 RBIs. Perhaps more importantly, he's played 61 Minor League games a year after being limited to 47 games due to injury.
John Gast (1-2) was tagged with the loss, surrendering nine runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings for the Redbirds.
Jared Hoying slugged his 15th homer and scored three times while J.P. Arencibia plated a pair of runs for the Express.
Miles Mikolas improved to 5-1 after allowing a run on 10 hits while striking out six for Round Rock.