Ragira's grand slam caps five-hit night

Giants prospect drives in five runs, falls a triple shy of the cycle

Brian Ragira is hitting .367 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 16 games in August. (Larry Goren/Four Seam Images)

By Ashley Marshall / MiLB.com | August 28, 2014 1:54 AM

Much like Fenway Park in Boston, The Diamond in Lake Elsinore is known for two distinguishing features -- an imposing outfield wall and a short right-field porch.

Unlike the big league park in Massachusetts, the wall at the Storm's home park is located down the line in right, making an otherwise easy home run target a little more challenging. That didn't stop Brian Ragira on Wednesday night.

The Giants prospect went 5-for-5 with a grand slam and a career-high five RBIs, missing the cycle by a triple and powering Class A Advanced San Jose to a 13-0 romp over Lake Elsinore.

"Pretty good, right?" Ragira joked. "It was a good game and nice to get a convincing win like this. I was happy with the game. They say hitting is contagious. You hear it all the time, but it really is true."

Ragira doubled to center field with two outs in the second inning and singled off the 36-foot wall in right to bring home a run in the third. He ripped another ball off the towering fence in the fifth, singled to left in the seventh and finally tamed the beast with a two-out grand slam to right in the eighth.

"Bases loaded, two outs. Their catcher had worked me backward and made it tough on me throughout the night, but I got a curveball over the plate and got it over the monster in right field," Ragira said. "It's at least 30-plus feet, maybe 40. It's pretty daunting, especially for a righty.

"[Reliever Alan Oaks] threw me a pitch away and I went with it, and I was fortunate to get it over the monster. You wait to hit the hanging breaking ball and I took a pretty healthy cut at it."

The five-hit outing lifted his average to .260, but his final line could have been even more impressive. Two of his three singles hit the wall in right, 310 feet from home plate, and Ragira thought about trying to stretch his double into a triple after sending a shot to the 425-foot sign in left-center field.

"The first hit was a double to the 425 sign and that could have been the hit I got the triple on. But I guess then I would have been a double short of the cycle," Ragira said after his first career five-hit game. "The last cycle was in my freshman year at Stanford.

"Professionally, this might be the best game I've had. Collegiately, I had a few good games. And now I'm really looking forward to playing tomorrow."

Ragira batted .224 with five homers, 17 doubles and 36 RBIs in 61 games before the All-Star break. In the second half, he's hitting .300 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs.

"I had a really tough first half here, but people gave me a lot of help. They had a lot of patience and they kept running me out there to help me get a better feel of playing pro ball. It shows you can go a long way in one year," he said.

"[Hitting coach] Lipso Nava has helped me out quite a bit and our roving hitting coordinator, Steve Decker, has helped me a lot. And, obviously, Lenn [Sakata], the manager, has been very influential helping me hit to all fields."

Daniel Carbonell contributed to the Giants' 19-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with a double, walk and two runs scored out of the the leadoff spot. Chuckie Jones collected three hits and a walk, adding an RBI and a run scored out of the No. 2 hole.

That offense proved more than enough for Joe Biagini (10-9) who yielded two hits and a walk while striking out five batters over five innings. Jake Smith fanned three over three hitless frames and Ray Black worked around a walk in the ninth to complete San Jose's fifth shutout of the season.

Lake Elsinore starter Rafael De Paula (2-4) surrendered seven runs on 11 hits and two walks while striking out two over five innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB". This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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