So far this year, if Chance Sisco does some damage in one at-bat, he's likely to do more later on.
The top Baltimore prospect continued the trend Wednesday, collecting a season-high four RBIs in the Triple-A Norfolk's 9-5 win at Buffalo. He went 2-for-3 with a double, a run, a walk and was hit by a pitch.
It marked the fourth multi-hit performance of 2017 for the 22-year-old catcher, who was perfect at the dish on Saturday, but has also been held hitless in half of the 10 games he's played. He's struck out 14 times.
"We've faced multiple guys throwing over 100 miles an hour," Tides hitting coach Sean Berry said. "The International League is typically very, very difficult for hitters for the first month, month-and-a-half. You're facing a lot of guys who just barely didn't make the big league clubs, guys with big league experience or guys on the rise.
"I had him in the [Arizona] Fall League a couple years ago and we faced a couple big arms. He had a little trouble early, but after a few weeks went by, he was able to adjust to the velocity and start to hit to all fields. There are going to be ups and downs -- that's expected, especially for catchers, and he's catching every day."
Despite those challenges and the five 0-fors, the No. 94 overall prospect is batting .278/.381/.389 with four doubles and five walks.
He took advantage of an early opportunity Wednesday, socking a three-run two-bagger to center field on a 1-1 offering from Bisons right-hander Jarrett Grube with two outs in the first inning.
Video: Norfolk's Sisco clears the bases with a double
"[The bases loaded and two outs is] always a pressure situation for a young player, and we haven't had that many big hits lately," Berry said. "It was exciting to see him get the big hit to the gap and clear the bases. I don't know if he was looking for a particular pitch, but they gave him a pitch to hit. He was able to drive it and he did so."
Facing righty Luis Santos in the fifth, the left-handed-hitting 2013 second-rounder spanked an RBI base knock up the middle.
"Most good hitters, him included, use the whole field," the hitting coach said. "In that situation, these guys have good arms and good sink away from him, but he did a good job getting a good pitch to hit and staying in the middle. He hit that ball hard. In fact, all the balls he hit tonight were very hard-hit."
Sisco, whom Berry said took a foul tip to "a very private area" in the third was hit "in the lower extremities" by Grube to start the top of the fourth. That painful pitch was the sixth of the matchup, and he saw five more in a seventh-inning at-bat against Santos that resulted in a walk in the seventh. Then he battled for seven pitches in a ninth-inning strikeout against John Stilson.
"You're facing pretty good arms, a lot of very experienced guys who know how to pitch. After he hit the double early with the second pitch and had hard contact with the single, now they're kind of pitching around him a little bit," Berry said. "You have to be patient when you need to be, but aggressive when you get good pitches early. I don't want them waiting around for anything. If they're pitching us in the strike zone, we're going to attack. If they want to throw around us, we''ll be patient and take our walks."
Dwight Smith Jr. went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, a run scored, a walk and an outfield assist for Buffalo.