Over his first three months with Triple-A Fresno this season, A.J. Reed hit 12 homers. He has surpassed that total in his last 28 games alone while looking more like the 2015 Joe Bauman Home Run Award winner.
The Astros first baseman went yard for the third straight game as the Grizzlies topped the El Paso Chihuahuas, 8-4, on Thursday night at Chukchansi Park.
Video: Reed blasts off for Grizzlies
Reed found the seats early as his drive off an 0-1 pitch from right-hander Chris Huffman in the first inning cleared the wall in center field. The blast -- his 25th of the season -- came right on the heels of Preston Tucker's two-out solo shot to right.
After striking out to lead off the third, Reed beat out an infield single to second base in the fifth and to shortstop in the seventh. The 2014 second-round pick, who flew out to left to end the eighth, is 7-for-13 over his last three contests.
Gameday box score
Reed went 0-for-6 during a two-game cameo in Houston before returning to Fresno last Saturday. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound slugger has gone on a tear ever since returning, batting .429 (9-for-21) in five games.
The 24-year-old went yard 13 times in July -- one more than he did in 74 games in April, May and June. The Indiana native took over sole possession of fourth in the Pacific Coast League in long balls, moving within five of co-leaders Renato Nunez of Nashville and Christian Walker of Reno.
Reed's resurgence has mirrored his breakout 2015 season, when he led the Minor Leagues with 34 homers while batting .340 and plating 127 runs in 135 games between Class A Advanced Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. He dropped down to 15 dingers in 70 games with Fresno last season, though he spent 45 games with the Astros. The University of Kentucky product has three roundtrippers in 47 career big league games.
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Reed was one of seven Grizzlies with multiple hits Thursday. Jack Mayfield collected three singles, while Tucker, Tony Kemp, Garrett Stubbs, Max Stassi and Drew Ferguson added two hits apiece.
Mike Hauschild (6-2) gave up three runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 frames for Fresno.
Huffman (0-1) surrendered four runs on 10 hits and two walks with five whiffs over five innings and Ryan Schimpf clubbed his 16th home run for El Paso.