Since finishing his first California League month with a .239 average, Stockton's Renato Nunez has been on the upswing in nearly every measurable offensive way. On Monday, San Jose was the latest team left in his wake.
The Athletics' No. 4 prospect swatted two home runs and drove in a career-high six runs as Class A Advanced Stockton rolled by San Jose, 7-0, at Municipal Stadium.
Nunez continued his torrid second-half pace by helping the Ports get jump-started quickly. With two out and Matt Olson aboard in the top of the first, the third baseman walloped Matt Lujan's offering out to left-center field for his 19th home run of the season and the 10th since the All-Star Break.
Again at the plate with two outs in the seventh with a 3-0 lead, Nunez cashed in on a bases-loaded opportunity for his first grand slam of the year.
Since the midway point of the season, Nunez has been an offensive force for a Stockton team that has won 13 of its 18 second-half games. In those contests, the 20-year-old has batted .394/.463/.915 for an 1.379 OPS. Nunez, who hit nine home runs in his first 60 games this season, has gone yard 11 times since the All-Star Break and has driven in 28 runs, one shy of his total from the first half.
The multi-homer day was Nunez's third such performance since the break, and his 20 total home runs stand second in the California League, four behind teammate Olson.
Yeiper Castillo (1-2) was the beneficiary of Nunez's big day. The right-hander allowed four hits and four walks while striking out two in 5 2/3 innings.
Lujan (2-1) was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three over six innings.