After returning to the International League a week ago, Mookie Betts looks ready to go back to Boston.
The Red Sox's fifth-ranked prospect homered, singled and drove in two runs on Saturday night as Triple-A Pawtucket defeated Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 8-5, for its team-record 11th straight win.
Batting leadoff and playing center field, Betts singled in a run in the second inning. He capped the PawSox's three-run sixth with a solo shot, his ninth of the season and third in the International League.
"I just got into a pretty good hitter's count and he gave me a good pitch to hit and it happened to go over the wall," Betts said of his blast off reliever Jeremy Bleich.
After spending nearly a month in the Major Leagues, the 21-year-old returned to Pawtucket on July 20. Since then, he's batting .375 with a homer and seven RBIs in seven games.
"Just getting back with [hitting coach Dave] Joppie and I got the taste of being up in the big leagues and I kinda knew what it was like," MLB.com's No. 48 overall prospect said. "Once I came down, I felt like I was really ready to put some good swings on balls."
Betts appeared in 10 games for Boston, batting .235 with a homer and two RBIs. He called the chance to play in the big leagues "an exciting opportunity" but also felt it wasn't that different from the Minor Leagues.
"At the end of the day, it's the same game," he said. "Once you get used to it, it all comes back natural, like it always does."
Betts rejoined the PawSox in time to help them extend the longest winning streak in the franchise's modern era.
"It's great," he said. "You don't really notice it in the clubhouse, we're just playing the game and having fun. And you look up and now we've won 11 games in a row."
The Red Sox's 2013 Minor League Offensive Player of the Year has put together an even better 2014 campaign. He's hitting .348 with a .962 OPS and is tied for ninth in the Minors with 77 runs scored in 84 games.
Deven Marrero, the Red Sox's No. 14 prospect, was 4-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Corey Brown delivered a run-scoring triple for Pawtucket. Starter Chris Hernandez gave up five runs on five hits in four innings, but Dalier Hinojosa (2-5) tossed two scoreless frames for the win and Tommy Layne pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Adonis Garcia had two hits and two RBIs for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.