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Arroyo collects career-high five hits

Giants No. 4 prospect ties team record with perfect night at plate
July 1, 2015

Christian Arroyo was hot on Tuesday night. Literally.

"It was still pretty toasty at game time, but at BP time, it was 105, 106 [degrees]," the Giants' No. 4 prospect said. "That's pretty normal for Arizona, but it's hot for out here. The good thing was, it was easy to stay warm and loose."

Arroyo was loose enough to go 5-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored in Class A Advanced San Jose's 6-3 win at Stockton. The five hits tied a team record and were a first for the 2013 first-round pick.

"That's definitely awesome," said the 20-year-old shortstop. "It's especially awesome, knowing all the homegrown Giants who have gone through San Jose -- Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Travis Ishikawa, Pablo Sandoval -- people who have played well in the Major Leagues. To tie a franchise record is incredible."

Arroyo, who missed most of May with a left oblique strain, was even happier to help the Giants to their second win since the All-Star break. San Jose was 30-40 in the first half and dropped three of four to Modesto in the first series of the second half.

"The really good thing is, we were able to get the big 'W' in the first game of this four-game series," Arroyo said. "It'd be good to get two more to win it or even to take three more. I'm excited for this team to have a good second half and make a run at the playoffs."

The native of the Tampa area had a four-hit game on June 11, and his perfect night at the dish boosted his average to .321. He's also struck out 32 times in 32 games and was punched out four times in an 0-for-4 effort on Friday.

"I've been working on some stuff with our hitting coach. I went back to basics, working on staying short and trying not to do too much, barrel up on some pitches and make some good swings," Arroyo said. "Every level, there's better pitching and pitchers command their stuff better, so you've got to have a solid approach and a plan to get ahead.

"That's one thing I'm trying to learn as a young hitter. Earlier in the year, I was striking out a lot and recently, I was striking out a lot, too. I was trying to hit 0-1 pitches over the fence. I've gone back to just trying to put a good swing on the ball and make solid contact."

He made plenty of solid contact Tuesday.

"It's always nice to get a hit. Broken-bat singles are awesome to have over the course of the season because at the end of the year, they help your numbers," Arroyo said. "But the biggest thing is to help the team win and you want to square balls up. I did that, and they happened to find some holes." 

Both of Arroyo's doubles -- one in the third inning and one in the fifth -- were hit toward the opposite field for the right-handed hitter.

"My approach is to the gaps," he said. "I don't try to pull the ball much. I try to stay in the middle of the field. I know on those swings I was feeling right."

His fifth hit of the night came off big league veteran Phil Coke, who signed with the A's over the weekend and gave up two runs on four hits in the eighth in his second appearance with the Ports.

"To get a hit off a guy who's had big league success is awesome. He's somebody I watched growing up," Arroyo said. Before the inning started, "I was sitting on deck and I looked at our pitching coach and said, 'Is that Phil Coke who pitched in the Majors?' He said, 'Yeah, I think so.' I turned to their first baseman and asked, 'Is that Phil Coke who used to pitch in the Majors?' He said, 'Yeah, he just signed a deal with us.'"

On the first pitch he saw from Coke, Arroyo smashed a grounder that second baseman Branden Cogswell was able to keep in the infield.

"You kind of try not to think about it too much," Arroyo said of getting his fifth hit off someone who's spent eight years in the Major Leagues, "but I really thought it was a cool moment."

Angel Villalona was 3-for-5 with an RBI double and a run scored for the Giants, while Jeff Kobernus also had three hits.

Third-ranked A's prospect Matt Chapman hit his 12th homer, a two-run shot, for the Ports.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to