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'Dogs' Sanchez hits two more homers08/10/2011 11:34 PM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
After entering August in a mini-slump, Gary Sanchez has become one of the most dangerous hitters in the Minor Leagues.
The Yankees' No. 4 prospect homered twice and drove in four runs to power the Class A Charleston RiverDogs to a 7-4 victory over the West Virginia Power.
Sanchez has seven homers in his last eight games and is batting .448 (13-for-29) this month.
"The sky is the limit with his potential and the tools package he has," RiverDogs hitting coach Greg Colbrunn said. "He has a solid approach at the plate, and when he has that, he has success.
"He is an 18-year-old who's very talented and who's come a long way since Spring Training. He's swinging the bat real well and over the last two or three weeks he's done a good job of using the whole field and driving the ball to right-center field."
On Wednesday, Sanchez slugged a two-run shot off starter Zachary Fuesser to get Charleston on the board in the second inning. He added a two-out, two-run blast an inning later to snap a 3-3 tie and put the RiverDogs ahead for good.
"Both home runs came on 0-2 pitches," Colbrunn said. "He fell behind in the count, but he didn't panic. He got two fastballs over the plate and him them to right field. That shows the kind of power he has. Using the opposite field lets him see the pitch a bit longer."
It was Sanchez's second career multi-homer game, with the other coming a week ago in a 7-3 loss to Asheville. The four RBIs were one short of the career high he set in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League on July 9, 2010.
Sanchez has had his share of problems this season. He hit .209 in April and, after homering in his first game of the season, went 94 at-bats and 23 games before going deep again.
The native of the Dominican Republic lost playing time to J.R. Murphy and, according to the New York Daily News, refused to play as a backup or warm up pitchers in the bullpen. The Yankees sent him to their Florida complex on May 21, and kept him there until June 4.
"It was a realty check going down there, especially seeing how hot it is down there," Sanchez said earlier this month. "At first, it was a struggle, but I've never gone through failure before. I wasn't doing as well as I did in the past, that was the biggest thing. To adapt to playing time and coming out and playing every day is a new thing."
Sanchez batted .210 with seven extra-base hits in 21 games in July and carried a .236 average into August.
"All hitters are streaky," Colbrunn said. "The good hitters just stay hotter for longer, and that will come for him with maturity. Whether catching every day and moving up a level caught up with him at times, he's held his own and he's making adjustments.
"He's a good kid who works hard and goes about his business the right way. Hopefully, he'll keep improving over the last three weeks. The potential is there just waiting to come out."
In his first full Minor League season, Sanchez has gotten his average up to .257 with 17 homers, 52 RBIs and 49 runs scored in 81 games. Last year, he batted .329 with eight homers and 43 RBIs between GCL and short-season Staten Island.
Shane Greene (4-11) allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over 6 2/3 innings to win for the first time in five starts.