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Mikolas hits for the cycle for Pulaski

Yankees prospect completes feat with two-run homer in ninth inning
July 11, 2015

Nathan Mikolas sent a line drive out of Pioneer Park and into Appalachian League history on Saturday night.

The Yankees prospect homered in the ninth inning to complete the Appy League's first cycle in nearly three years as Rookie-level Pulaski cruised to a 9-3 victory over Greeneville.

Mikolas started his night with a leadoff double in the second inning and later singled home two runs as part of a six-run outburst. He tripled to open the fifth before striking out in the seventh, setting the stage for his big at-bat in the ninth.

"I felt good going into the game," said Mikolas, who scored three times. "I was trying to keep everything simple."

With a runner on first and one out in the final frame, Mikolas pulled a ball over the right-field wall, finishing off the league's first cycle since Elizabethton's Niko Goodrum accomplished the feat on June 30, 2012.

"I was aware, and the at-bat before that I kind of got out of my approach a little bit thinking about it," the 21-year-old outfielder said. "In the ninth inning I felt more like myself, I felt comfortable in the box. I wasn't trying to do too much, trying to hit a line drive up the middle. It was pretty exciting to see it go over the fence."

Mikolas' cycle is the first for Pulaski since became a Yankees affiliate this year. The reaction of his teammates made it even more exciting for the 2012 third-round pick.

"The dugout was fun," Mikolas said. "I'm here with all my close friends, and to experience it with them was even more memorable. It just went my way tonight."

Mikolas has gotten off to a strong for the Yankees, batting .365 with 14 RBIs in 14 games. After going homerless in his first 12 contests, he's homered in back-to-back games and has six extra-base hits.

"It's just my mental approach," Mikolas said. "I'm not trying to do too much, not trying to overthink things; keep everything simple. My coaches, I have to give a lot of credit to them."

Frank Frias was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while Hoy Jun Park also plated a pair of runs for the Yankees.

Reliever Eduardo Rivera (1-0) struck out six while allowing a run on one hit and one walk over three innings of relief to get the win.

Luis Payano homered for the Astros.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich.