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Dominguez slugs historic grand slam06/27/2011 11:18 PM ET
By Danny Wild / MLB.com
With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning Monday night, Harrisburg manager Tony Beasley played the matchup and called on a righty to face Chris Dominguez, the reigning Eastern League Player of the Week.
Dominguez, silenced since his two-run single in the first, turned on a 2-1 pitch from Hassan Pena, sending it deep to left for his second Double-A home run, the first grand slam in Flying Squirrels history.
"I was just trying to get something I could drive," Dominguez said. "Hit up the middle and try to get a good pitch to hit. He gave me a good fastball to hit, middle-in, and I took advance of it."
The Los Angeles native, who has 15 RBIs in his last eight games, finished 2-for-4 with a career-high six RBIs as Richmond beat Harrisburg, 9-3, at The Diamond.
"It was great, I was just trying to get good pitches to hit," Dominguez said of his memorable night. "I'm still trying to learn the game a bit and get advice from my coaches, and so far, it's been a good experience."
Dominguez got started in the first inning, following three straight Richmond singles with a two-run double to right, plating Charlie Culberson and Roger Kieschnick.
"I was just trying to get something in the air, let the runner tag," he said. "I got a good pitch to hit and hit it to the outfield, but I was lucky that it fell in."
He grounded out in the third and struck out in the fifth, but got another opportunity in the seventh when Beasley tried to keep the game close. Jimmy Barthmaier surrendered three consecutive one-out singles, and with the bases loaded, Harrisburg went with lefty reliever Cory VanAllen, who struck out the left-handed Kieschnick. Beasley then brought in the right-handed Pena to face Dominguez.
The Giants' third-round pick in 2009 earned Eastern League honors Monday after going 11-for-24 with seven doubles, a homer and eight RBIs last week. He's adjusted quickly to Double-A pitching after hitting .291 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs in the Cal League at San Jose this year.
"I guess it seems that way," he said of the fast transition. "I'm still trying to learn every day and read all the pitchers and get the advice I can from coaches on how they'd go after certain guys in situations. But the transition has been easy because of the guys, they've welcomed me pretty well."
Welcoming a hot slugger is an easy task for any lineup. Monday's performance was Dominguez's best game since going 5-for-8 with a homer and four RBIs on May 16 against Stockton. He had a pair of two-homer games in mid-April with San Jose, and Monday marked his second career grand slam.
It was also the first Player of the Week award for Dominguez, who hit his first Double-A homer June 24 amidst a stretch in which he drove in nine runs in seven games.
"It's great, it's only one week, so I try to look at it that way," he said. "But it's a great honor and I'm grateful for it. Hopefully, we can continue to win."