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Flores returns to form with four hits05/03/2014 2:58 AM ET
By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com
Although it may not have been clear that he was lost, Wilmer Flores has found himself.
"I felt like I was me again tonight," the Mets' fourth-ranked prospect said after a big performance Friday night.
Flores went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and three runs scored, but Triple-A Las Vegas fell to Tacoma, 6-4, at Cheney Stadium.
The 22-year-old infielder has hit safely in 20 of the 25 Pacific Coast League games in which he's appeared this season, but Friday's was his first contest with more than two hits. The four-hit night raised his average 28 points to .289.
"I've been struggling lately, but I felt good," Flores said. "I was just doing the same thing, doing my routine. I was relaxed and I tried to put some pretty good swings on the ball, and that's what I did."
His first dinger of the night came off Rainiers starter Erasmo Ramirez with two outs in the opening inning. After fouling off the first pitch, Flores hammered a fastball out of the park in left field.
"It was a good pitch. It felt good for me to be able to do that in my first at-bat," Flores said. "After I hit the home run, I thought I was going to be able to have a good game."
He struck out against Ramirez in the fourth but got the better of him again with a one-out single in the sixth. When Flores came to the plate to lead off the eighth, Tacoma had tied the game, 1-1. He took two balls from reliever Jonathan Arias and swung at the third pitch, dropping it into shallow left field for another single. Flores scored on Allan Dykstra's double and Las Vegas added a run on a fielder's choice.
"That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to start a rally, and we did," Flores said. "Unfortunately, we lost, but that was the idea -- to get a hit and start a rally."
Tacoma scored five times in the bottom of the eighth, so the 51s were down by three when Flores stepped to the dish with two outs in the ninth against Logan Bawcom.
"You don't want to be the last out, you always want to keep battling. That's what we all try to do," Flores said. "It was a hanging slider and I just reacted to it. It was a strike and I was able to put a good swing on it."
It was his third career two-homer game -- all with Las Vegas -- and first since July 11.
Flores batted .211 during a 27-game stint with the Mets at the end of last season and he began the 2014 campaign in the Major Leagues. He was sent to Triple-A after an 0-for-4 Opening Day but said he wasn't frustrated by the limited opportunity.
"No, I mean, I'm just trying to do what I do. Whatever happens happens," he said. "If I get the chance, I do; if I don't, then I'm doing my best and I'm going to keep doing my best."
Eighth-ranked Mariners prospect Chris Taylor continued his hot hitting for Tacoma, homering and scoring a pair of runs. He's batting .421 (32-for-76) since April 12.