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'Riders' Refsnyder ends power outage

Yankees' No. 5 prospect smacks first two homers of the season
May 17, 2015

Rob Refsnyder had gone 32 games this season without hitting a home run. The drought reached 52 games if you include the end of 2014.

Once he got himself going, however, he didn't wait long for another trot around the bases.

The Yankees' No. 5 prospect crushed his first homer of the season in the first inning and added a two-run shot in the fifth on Sunday afternoon, powering Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a 5-0 win over Durham.

Homerless since Aug. 11, Refsnyder recorded his first multi-homer effort since Aug. 23, 2012, when he popped a pair while with Class A Charleston.

The 24-year-old second baseman slugged his first homer of the season with two outs in the first, turning on a fastball from left-hander Everett Teaford and driving it out over the giant blue wall in left-center field at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

After waiting so long for his first long ball, Refsnyder bopped No. 2 just four innings after his first. With one out and one aboard, he turned on another Teaford offering and clanked it off the left field foul pole.

The 2012 fifth-round pick has turned his season around following a sluggish start. After going 0-for-3 in Game 1 of a doubleheader on April 25, Refsnyder's average dropped to .193 and his OPS to .461. Since then, he's reached base safely in 19 consecutive games, with hits in his last eight. The hot streak has lifted his average to .304 and OPS to .790 through 33 games.

Refsnyder went to Spring Training competing for a Major League job and put on an impressive show. Over 26 Grapefruit League games with the Yankees, the University of Arizona product batted .364 with seven RBIs and a 1.030 OPS.

Despite the output, Refsnyder was shipped back to Triple-A on Opening Day, where the team tasked him with improving his defense. He has a .948 fielding percentage in 31 games at second and told The Times-Tribune earlier this month that he's feeling more confident at the keystone than he did in Spring Training.

"I played Spring Training kind of tentative, really kind of passive," Refsnyder said. "That's not how I'm supposed to play defense. It's about not being afraid to make mistakes."

Refsnyder spent 77 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a year go, batting .300 with eight homers and an .845 OPS.

Left-hander Miguel Sulbaran (1-0) picked up the win in his Triple-A debut on the strength of five scoreless innings. The 21-year-old allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three. Sulbaran opened the season with Double-A Trenton, where he compiled a 2.80 ERA in seven starts.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner.