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Dominguez homers, exits with injury08/11/2011 2:07 AM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
Florida third base prospect Matt Dominguez continued to stay productive at the plate Wednesday night. Now the Marlins will hope that the apparent injury that forced him to exit the game is not serious.
The former first-rounder slugged a three-run homer in the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs' 8-7 loss to the Las Vegas 51s. He is hitting .571 (12-for-21) with nine RBIs over his last five games.
After striking out in his first at-bat, Dominguez -- selected 12th overall in the 2007 Draft -- went yard to left field with one out in the fourth inning. It was his 11th longball of the year and the second in the past four days.
In the sixth, the 6-foot-1 right-hander hit into a 6-4-3 double play before leaving the game in the home half of the inning with what was initially suspected to be an upper leg injury.
Florida's top prospect has found his groove at the plate of late. He was 4-for-6 with three RBIs, missing hitting for the cycle by a triple, in the series opener with Las Vegas on Sunday, and he had two hits in each of the previous two games. In 10 August games, he is batting .378.
A front-runner for landing a starting job with the Marlins entering Spring Training this March, the California native struggled in Grapefruit League action before being assigned to the Zephyrs. He broke his left elbow in New Orleans' final preseason outing and missed the first six weeks of the regular season.
He returned to action May 10, making four rehab starts with the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League before taking a five-hour trip north up Florida's East Coast to join the Double-A Jacksonville Suns for a four-game set at home to the Mississippi Braves.
Despite concluding his Southern League assignment with just two hits and one RBI in 15 at-bats, Dominguez rejoined the Zephyrs the following day. Since returning to the New Orleans lineup May 19, the third baseman is hitting .260 with 53 RBIs in 76 Pacific League outings.
On Wednesday, Dominguez hit one of five Zephyrs' homers. Chris Aguila blasted two longballs for the third time this season to move him one homer shy of Daryle Ward (53) for second place on the team's all-time list. Mike Cervenak and Sergio Pedroza also went deep for the Marlins affiliate.
Former first-rounder Robert Ray (1-3) earned his first PCL win of the year, despite allowing seven runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out six over 7 2/3 innings.