It doesn't matter what league he plays in or what position he occupies in the field, Patrick Kivlehan is going to hit.
The Mariners' ninth-ranked prospect homered and drove in a season-high five runs on Sunday in Double-A Jackson's 9-8 loss at Pensacola.
Kivlehan got the Generals on the board with a two-run blast in the first inning. Two innings later, he plated three more with a bases-loaded double, then scored on a base hit by Jordy Lara. After reaching on a fielder's choice in the fifth, he came home on Lara's double.
"There wasn't much different than what I've been doing any other day," Kivlehan said. "I wanted to stay aggressive. Honestly, I was just looking for a pitch up in the zone I could do some damage with. Luckily, [Pensacola starter Michael Lorenzen] missed on a close pitch away and it was just over the middle the plate and I put the barrel on it.
"It's always good, you always want to do your part. You're not going to be able to produce like this every game. Everyone's got to take their turn producing and do their part. Today was just my day."
Promoted from Class A Advanced High Desert on May 10, Kivlehan has excelled at the Double-A level. He's batting .319 with 10 homers, 60 RBIs and a .923 OPS in 83 games with the Generals. There was an adjustment period, however, as the Rutgers product posted a .682 OPS in his first 20 Southern League games.
"When I first got up here, I struggled pretty badly," Kivlehan said. "It took me two to three series to figure out what the pitchers are doing to me here and the different ballparks, because the ball travels differently here than in the Cal League. It took me a good two to three series to adjust."
Overall, the 24-year-old New York native is batting .307 with 19 homers and 95 RBIs in 117 games, with the latter two totals representing career highs. With his strong performance at Double-A, he's put himself in position to reach the Majors soon. But that's not something he thinks about.
"Everyone says when you're at Double-A you're closer than you think," Kivlehan said. "I don't really think about that stuff. I'm just enjoying playing here, and when that opportunity comes, I'm gonna take advantage of it."
Kivlehan, who started the game in left field, moved to third base when Mariners No. 3 prospect D.J. Peterson left with an injury. He's also seen time at first base in his second full Minor League season.
"I don't really have a preference," he said. "I think it's cool that I can play a bunch of different positions. It makes it fun coming to the ballpark every day because you don't know what position you're going to play."
Lara's RBI double in the fifth gave Jackson a 7-6 lead, but Chris Berset capped Pensacola's three-run sixth with a two-run single.
Travis Mattair and Juan Duran homered for the Blue Wahoos, who have won three of their last four games.