The fireworks may just be getting started for Kyri Washington.The Red Sox prospect recorded his first career three-homer game and drove in a career-best five runs Friday, helping Class A Advanced Salem hold off Potomac, 9-7, at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium.
The fireworks may just be getting started for Kyri Washington.
The Red Sox prospect recorded his first career three-homer game and drove in a career-best five runs Friday, helping Class A Advanced Salem hold off Potomac, 9-7, at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium.
Gameday box score
"I struggled to start the season, but I've been swinging the bat a lot better lately and feeling good," said Washington. "I always say the first one is the toughest one to get, so that definitely helped me settle down a little at the plate. But I've been getting after it in the cage, and my focus is always on hitting the ball hard and putting it in play somewhere."
With No. 12 Red Sox prospectBobby Dalbec and Tyler Hill aboard in the second inning, the 23-year-old outfielder turned around a 1-2 pitch from right-hander Joan Baez, sending it high over the wall in left field to give Salem a 4-0 lead.
After getting caught looking in the third, Washington led off the sixth and deposited a fastball from southpaw Hayden Howard to left-center to open a 7-1 cushion.
The Virginia native led off the eighth and hammered the second pitch from righty James Bourque to right for his fourth homer of the season.
"In that first at-bat, the pitcher threw me two sliders that I missed, so I thought another one was coming. ... It did, and I didn't miss it that time," he said. "The next time, I was just sitting fastball in my zone and I got one. And in the eighth, I just went up there with a clear head and didn't think too much. I just saw the ball and hit it."
A 23rd-round pick in the 2015 Draft, Washington totaled one homer between Rookie ball and Class A Short Season Lowell that summer. He broke out with 16 dingers for Class A Greenville in 2016, but a labrum injury limited him to 18 games with Salem in 2017.
"I hurt it in the second game of the year last year, diving for a ball and landing awkwardly," he said. "I tried to play through it, but opted for surgery when I started to realize I wasn't helping the team or myself. I started to feel like myself again in Spring Training, but I was in my head too much and I just needed to relax more. I've definitely been feeling good lately, though, and I just need to keep it going."
It was Salem's first three-homer game since Michael Chavisaccomplished the feat last April 19 in a 7-6 walk-off win over Wilmington.
"I try to pride myself on hitting the ball out when I can and being a well-rounded player," Washington said. "I like being known as a guy who hits the ball hard in the gap and uses the whole field. I wouldn't say I try to hit home runs, but I do try to barrel it up every time."
Brett Netzer -- Boston's No. 19 prospect -- smacked his first professional homer, and 30th-ranked Roldani Baldwin also went deep, as Salem set a team record with five roundtrippers.
Red Sox No. 13 prospect Jake Thompson (1-2) allowed three runs on six hits with two walks while fanning five over five frames, picking up his first win in six starts. Matthew Gorst recorded the final two outs to lock down the victory and his fourth save.
Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24.