|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Power's Jones plates career-high five runs08/17/2014 12:18 AM ET
By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com
JaCoby Jones has figured out what works for him in the South Atlantic League. And he didn't get away from that formula for success on Saturday night.
"I've been trusting my hands and hitting the mistakes pitchers make," the Pirates' No. 12 prospect said. "When pitchers throw the fastball across the plate, I can't miss. I look for the fastballs, and I haven't been missing when I get them. That's essentially what I did tonight."
Jones hit his third grand slam of the season and collected a career-high five RBIs while going 3-for-4 to power Class A West Virginia's 13-3 rout at Lexington.
"I really didn't think about that, but since [I've been told], it feels really good," the 22-year-old shortstop said of his career night. "It was a grand slam and a sac fly, and I was just trying to get on base. But it feels good."
Jones, who reached base four times, is batting .333 since the end of June. The grand slam was his sixth homer in his last 10 games and his 22nd of the season, leaving him two behind Hickory's Travis Demeritte for the league lead.
"I've been swinging pretty good lately," Jones admitted.
The LSU product plated his first run in the opening inning. With leadoff man Michael Fransoso on third and nobody out, he lifted a high curveball from Lexington starter Pedro Fernandez into right field for a sacrifice fly.
"Anytime you're up with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, you want to do your job," he said. "I was looking to get a pitch up and hit it in the air or something I could hit well. It felt good, especially with hitting a curveball to the opposite field. That let me know my swing was good for the night."
Jones popped out in the third but singled in the fifth and seventh and was hit by a pitch in the eighth. His two-out slam in the ninth off reliever Jose Miguel Rodriguez capped an outburst in which the Power scored nine runs over the final two innings.
"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going out," he said. "It was a line-drive shot, but the wind was going out and the left fielder stopped moving almost right as I hit it.
"It puts a dagger in the other team -- four runs in one swing, to bring four runs around just like that. It's a big momentum-changer in a close game. We were already up big, but it was still really fun to hit a grand slam and get the RBIs."
Wyatt Mathisen, Pittsburgh's 15th-ranked prospect, was 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.
"He's been swinging it really well lately, getting hot, and getting hot when we need it the most," Jones said. "All of our guys have, but Mathisen especially. And he's a good third baseman -- and this is his first year playing there."
Henry Hirsch (4-6) struck out six and allowed one hit over three innings of scoreless relief to get the win.
Dominique Taylor went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored for Lexington.