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66ers' Raben surpasses 30-homer mark
Angels first base prospect goes yard twice for third time this month
08/30/2014 3:01 AM ET
Dennis Raben has hit 95 home runs across three levels in six Minor League seasons. (Mike Andruski/High Desert Mavericks)

Dennis Raben's August is winding down the same way it started up: with a bang.

The Angels prospect hit his 30th and 31st homers of the California League season Friday night, powering Inland Empire to a 12-8 triumph at Lancaster.

The win lifted the 66ers into a tie with the JetHawks for first place in the second-half South Division race.

This month, Raben has led all Class A Advanced hitters with 14 dingers and 36 RBIs. And his .370 batting average over those 27 games ranks third in the league.

His first long ball of the evening followed Chad Hinshaw's leadoff blast in the sixth inning off JetHawks starter and sixth-ranked Astros prospect Lance McCullers. The 66ers entered the frame, trailing, 3-1, but led 9-3 by the time it was over.

Raben went deep again in the ninth, this time off Gonzalo Sanudo.

The 27-year-old first baseman had five homers in four games between Aug. 4-7. Friday's outburst came 12 days after another two-homer game, one in which Inland Empire left the park seven times.

The 66ers fell a pair short of that mark in Friday's comeback win, but Sherman Johnson also went yard twice and collected four RBIs. He has gone yard in three straight games and has 16 homers on the season.

Eduard Santos (3-4) pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the win, yielding two hits while striking out five.

Rio Ruiz, the Astros' No. 9 prospect, went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored for Lancaster. Jack Mayfield and Tyler White both homered and plated two runs.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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