Jake Cave had seen teammates hit two home runs in a game and always wanted to do it himself. He checked that off his to-do list on Saturday.The Yankees prospect went yard twice and plated a career-high five runs on a 3-for-3 night in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 8-1 victory over Lehigh
Jake Cave had seen teammates hit two home runs in a game and always wanted to do it himself. He checked that off his to-do list on Saturday.
The Yankees prospect went yard twice and plated a career-high five runs on a 3-for-3 night in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 8-1 victory over Lehigh Valley at PNC Field.
Cave opened the scoring by plating Billy McKinney with a double to right in the second inning. The 24-year-old walked and stole second with two outs in the third, but was stranded when Cito Culver struck out.
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The outfielder stepped to the plate against IronPigs reliever Pat Venditte to lead off the sixth. Venditte, a switch-pitcher, opted to throw left-handed against Cave, who was 2-for-23 against southpaws this season.
After taking a strike, the 2011 sixth-round pick pulled a hanging slider over the right-field wall for his first homer since June 30.
"I've seen a lot of lefties in the past few games -- tough lefties -- and Venditte is a tough lefty," Cave said. "I just got a slider that was over the plate and I put my best swing on it and connected. There wasn't really too much overthinking about it."
The Virginia native blasted his second homer an inning later on a 1-2 changeup from Michael Mariot. The three-run shot to left-center gave him seven in 22 games with the RailRiders this year.
"I wasn't looking for anything in particular," Cave said. "With two strikes, I was looking to battle a little bit, but I saw the guy really well. I knew if he put a pitch out over the plate I could at least put a good swing on it, and that's all you can control."
Cave surpassed his previous career high of four RBIs set on May 23, 2013, with Class A Charleston. However, hitting multiple home runs for the first time dominated his thoughts afterward.
"Yeah, I thought about it," Cave said. "It's the first time. I've never done that and it's a cool feeling. When you see guys do it, it's really cool to see. To be able to do that, it was fun."
Cave's career night continued something of a resurgence this season. The Reds selected the Virginia high school product in the Rule 5 Draft at the start of 2016, but returned him to the Yankees shortly after Spring Training. He went on to hit .268/.330/.427 in 116 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton.
This year, Cave has broken out with a .290/.342/.576 slash line, 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 53 games across two levels. He's batting .329 with a 1.053 OPS in 22 games with the RailRiders.
"I'm having fun this season," Cave said. "I'm feeling good and I feel like I'm producing. To be able to do something like this tonight and kind of check it off the list is really fun."
Miguel Andújar, New York's ninth-ranked prospect, ripped a two-run homer in the third. McKinney finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Brady Lail gave up a run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over four innings. Nick Rumbelow (2-0) walked two and fanned three over 2 2/3 frames of scoreless relief.
César Ramos (4-4) surrendered four runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings for Lehigh Valley.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.