With one hit -- and five strikeouts -- in his last 11 at-bats, Brandon Marsh was scuffling heading into Friday's game.
The Angels' third-ranked prospect regained his stroke with a 3-for-5 night, doubling twice and driving in a season-high three runs, as Double-A Mobile thumped Pensacola, 8-2, at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Video: Mobile's Marsh ropes double
Marsh struck out looking to lead off the game against right-hander Sean Poppen. In the third, however, he stroked a one-out double to center field to plate Connor Justus with the game's first run. Marsh scored on a double by Brandon Sandoval as the BayBears opened a 3-0 lead.
Coming off a four-strikeout game Thursday against Jackson, the left-handed-swinging outfielder credited his teammates with helping jump-start his night.
"It was tough -- my last five AB's were K's," he said. "I try to flush it after each at-bat. It's tough being in the moment. You just have to go to the plate each time with no expectations. I learned that from just being around the veterans in Spring Training.
"What got me going was the other guys, they sparked it. In the third, [Poppen] got a heater up, a two-seamer, and I just tried to match the plane and barrel up the ball."
Gameday box score
After grounding out to end the fifth, the 2016 second-round pick laced an RBI single to left off left-handed reliever Sam Clay in the seventh. A throwing error allowed Marsh to score during the three-run frame that pushed Mobile's lead to 6-2.
"There isn't a better feeling, going back to the box after putting the barrel on the ball and getting out of a hole," he said. "I was seeing the ball well today. There was no practice, no BP -- just show-and-go."
Facing right-hander Cody Stashak in the ninth, Marsh ripped another double to right-center that chased home Erick Salcedo with the BayBears' final run.
Marsh noted his approach at the plate has changed this year after he hit .266/.359/.408 with 10 homers, seven triples, 27 doubles and 85 runs scored in 127 games between Class A Burlington and Class A Advanced Inland Empire.
"I'm more aggressive in the zone. In years prior, I've had a lot of takes in the zone," he said. "My biggest adjustment in the box is swinging at pitches I can do some damage with. It also depends on the situation and the guy on the bump. Anything belt-high -- slider, changeup, heater -- if they put it there, I'm going to put my best swing on it."
Friday was the Buford, Georgia, native's seventh multi-hit game of the season and first with two extra-base hits. He boosted his slash line to .261/.356/.330.
2019 MiLB include
"A lot of guys struggle," Marsh said. "I let my drill work and cage work, the repetitions, take the lead. It's cliche, but if I can get 1 percent better every day ... I'll put myself in a good position in the box. If it looks juicy, I let the drill work take over."
Michael Santos (2-1) gave up one hit over 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out three and walking three for the win.
Justus was 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored. Julian Leon also had two hits for Mobile.
Twins No. 2 prospect Alex Kirilloff doubled and walked twice for Pensacola. Poppen (2-3) look the loss, yielding three runs on six hits with six punchouts over 5 2/3 frames.