|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Brown homers in fifth straight game05/25/2012 11:43 PM ET
By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com
It's been a little while since Corey Brown has been known for his power.
The 2007 first-round pick hit 30 homers between Class A Kane County and Class A Advanced Stockton in the A's organization in 2008 but hadn't produced more than 15 in three seasons since.
Recently, however, Brown has been working on rebuilding that reputation.
With a home run in the eighth inning of Syracuse's 9-6 loss to Columbus on Friday, he set a team record by going deep in his fifth straight contest. He eclipsed the four-game streaks of seven different sluggers, most recently John-Ford Griffin from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2005.
Oddly enough, the 26-year-old outfielder said he had no idea he'd made history.
"I actually didn't know until they made the announcement [over the PA system]," Brown told The [Syracuse] Post-Standard. "In a way, it's probably good that they didn't tell me because maybe I would've gone out there trying to hit it.
"It's definitely an honor and I feel very blessed."
Brown's streak gives the Chiefs' leadoff hitter 12 homers in 48 games, good for third in the International League behind more notable sluggers Brad Eldred of Toledo and Matt LaPorta of Columbus.
Acquired by the Nationals in the 2010 trade that sent Josh Willingham to Oakland, Brown already is well on his way to a potential career year.
Following Friday's 2-for-5 performance, he's hitting .297, 14 points higher than his best full season in the Minor Leagues. That's been helped by a month in which the Oklahoma State product is batting .359 (33-for-92) with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 24 games.
"He's fine right there [in the leadoff spot]," Chiefs manager Tony Beasley told the newspaper. "He's comfortable there. He's been swinging the bat well. I don't see the need to mess with him there."
Brown's recent surge follows a difficult 2011 campaign. A sprained ankle in his second appearance in Spring Training bothered him into the regular season. He finished the year with a hitting line of .235/.326/.402, which was augmented by a torrid August (.351/.414/.608).
"I put a lot of pressure on myself being part of a trade and being on the 40-man [roster]," Brown said. "I wanted to come here and do well. Once I started to struggled, I kind of lost that confidence. It's tough out here if you don't have confidence."
His hot streak to end last summer earned a September callup to Washington, where he appeared in three games before going down with a season-ending knee infection.
But in the biggest indicator of Brown's turnaround in 2012, he's played in all of the Chiefs' 48 games.
Brett Carroll also homered and added three RBIs for Syracuse in the losing effort.
Jared Goedert smacked a sixth-inning grand slam for the Clippers, while Jason Donald, Matt Pagnozzi and Gregorio Petit hit solo blasts.