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Fletcher plates career-high seven runs06/26/2011 2:07 AM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
Brian Fletcher refused to let the rain dampen his spirits on a long night in Peoria.
The Royals prospect smashed two homers and plated a career-high seven runs Saturday, powering the Kane County Cougars to an 11-5 romp over the Chiefs.
"I was feeling good tonight. It felt like a breakthrough, a good way to start the second half," said Fletcher, who missed a month due to a hamstring injury.
"I haven't had a game like this since my junior year of college in Auburn. I think it was one of the first two series of the year at home and I went 4-for-4 with eight RBIs and a couple doubles and a home run."
After the start of the game was delayed by rain for 22 minutes, the 22-year-old left fielder blasted a two-run shot to the opposite field in the first inning. In the third, he pulled a two-run jack to left to complete his first multi-homer game as a pro.
"I had a few [multi-homer] games in Auburn, but to have one here is pretty special. It's a great feeling," Fletcher said. "I was a little late on a 2-0 fastball [in the first inning], but then I got another one out over the plate and I was on time. As soon as I hit it I thought it was out.
"The second one was on a 3-2 count and he threw me a changeup inside and I put a good swing on it. I wasn't trying to do too much with a two-strike count, but it had some carry on it."
The skies opened again at O'Brien Field, this time with the bases loaded in the fourth and Fletcher waiting in the on-deck circle. Instead, he spent nearly 2 1/2 hours in the locker room. The Chiefs probably wished the tarp had remained on the field.
"It's tough. Rain delays like this are hard," Fletcher said. "You want to get back on the field and play and you're trying to stay focused so that you come back energized. I was trying to relax a little bit, but we knew we were going to be waiting a little while, so I put on my headphones and listened to some music."
Six pitches after play resumed, the 2010 18th-round Draft pick cleared the bases with a double to right field to extend the Cougars' lead to 9-2. He scored again on Cheslor Cuthbert's single.
"I got a 3-2 pitch that I was able to hit down the line," the Georgia native said. "The runners were going on the pitch and as soon as I hit it I knew that it was either going to be caught or it would drive them all in."
Fletcher's previous high was four RBIs as part of a four-hit night against Beloit on May 10.
Fletcher raised his average 15 points to .336 before leaving for a defensive replacement in the fifth. He has five homers and 28 RBIs in 37 games in his first full season.
"We'd had a long night and we wanted to get some other guys some at-bats," he said. "I didn't take it personally. I didn't want to be selfish and do everything myself. I was very satisfied and excited with what I did."
Fletcher made his professional debut last summer with Rookie-level Burlington, where he went 5-for-16 with a pair of homers and four RBIs in four games.