Thursday was opposite day for Ty Kelly, and Ty Kelly loves opposite day.
"When I'm at my best is when I'm able to hit the ball with power to opposite field," said the switch-hitting Mariners prospect. "I like to start out going opposite field, so that I can cover everything."
Kelly blasted two home runs -- including a grand slam -- the other way and tallied a career-best seven RBIs in Triple-A Tacoma's 18-2 rout of Salt Lake. He finished 3-for-4 with two walks and four runs scored.
"I was fortunate to get up in situations with a lot of guys on base, so I just tried to keep it simple in those situations," Kelly said.
Batting left-handed in the second inning with runners on the corners and a 2-0 count against Bees starter Jarrett Grube, the 25-year-old second baseman knocked the third pitch over the fence in left.
"Honestly, I wasn't sitting on a fastball. I was thinking he'd throw either a fastball or changeup away," he said. "I was looking to use left field in that situation. I got a fastball and I just reacted."
That at-bat made the game a little bit easier for Kelly.
"I took a good swing and when you take a good swing, it kind of relaxes you for the at-bats [later]," he said. "It lets you know you can let the ball get deeper."
He flew out to left against Grube (6-4) in the fourth, but went up the middle for a single against right-hander Kyler Newby in the sixth.
When he stepped to the dish against another righty -- Michael Kohn -- with the bases loaded in the eighth, he wasn't feeling any pain.
"There was no pressure on me at that point," Kelly said. "We had a big lead, and I was confident and pretty relaxed from my previous at-bats."
He hammered Kohn's first offering of the at-bat out of the yard in left.
"It was just a fastball up, and I was telling myself to be ready to go, to hit a fastball," he said. "I had a little confidence and was seeing the ball deep and relaxing and using my hands to go the other way."
Jesus Montero, who had six RBIs for Tacoma on July 4 and had a homer and four RBIs Tuesday, continued his torrid hitting with a 5-for-6 performance. He collected two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
"He's been doing awesome. He even got robbed a couple times tonight," Kelly said.
"He hit one that with normal winds would have been over the batter'e eye, but we had some storm conditions and the wind was coming straight in and knocked it down. That would have been another home run for him. He's swinging well and hitting everything."
Logan Kensing (3-0), who entered the game with no outs out and two runners on in the third, faced nine batters and retired them all -- four by strikeout -- for the win.