Bees' Calhoun blasts three homers

Angels prospect ties franchise record, collects four RBIs

By Josh Jackson / | July 23, 2013 8:40 PM ET

The next time Austin Fleet is in Salt Lake, Kole Calhoun is footing the bill.

"We're good friends, actually. I'm definitely going to have to do something for him," Calhoun said. "I'm kind of waiting for a phone call."

The The Angels' No. 5 prospect homered in his first three at-bats against his pal on Tuesday night, finishing 4-for-4 with four RBIs as the Bees edged Fresno, 5-4, at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

"It's not like I've got [Fleet] all figured out now," Calhoun said. "He just left some pitches up and I got a good swing on the ball."

The three-homer game was the ninth in Bees history and the first since Cory Aldridge did it on July 29, 2012. Calhoun had just one career multi-homer game, going yard twice for Class A Advanced Inland Empire on July 2, 2011.

The 25-year-old center fielder, who hit 14 homers in the Pacific Coast League last season and played in 21 big league games, is 20-for-43 over his last 10 games. And that includes an 0-for-5 effort on Monday.

"The night before, I struck out three times. When you strike out three times, the next day you try to keep it simple," Calhoun said. "I came up not trying to do too much. This was a better game. It makes it a lot more fun afterward, too."

The first of his three of his longballs came in the opening inning as the left-handed hitter smacked Fleet's 1-1 offering over the left-field wall, some 350 feet away.

"It was nice to put the ball in play. It wasn't something like I was in the zone or feeling especially great at the beginning of the game," Calhoun said. "They had a good guy pitching on the mound who's had some success against us in the past and there was a guy on third with one out, so I wasn't trying to do anything other than put the ball in play.

"I hit it pretty good. The ball carried and kind of snuck over the fence. I didn't know if I got it all, but I knew I did my job. It was a nice surprise that it went out."

Two innings later, the Arizona State product homered to right on the same count.

"It's only the second time in my pro ball career I've hit two in a game, so I was excited a little," Calhoun said. "It was kind of cool, but I had three more at-bats in the game and I knew I still had to come up and do something else. I wasn't planning on hitting three."

In the fifth, he went after Fleet's first offering and again sent it over the wall in right.

"He threw me a cutter down and in and it was more like reaction. I was just trying to get something to hit, and I got it up in the air," Calhoun said. "It's not really deep in right field, so if you get it in the air you have a chance. I thought it was going to get caught though."

He wasn't through. Facing Daryl Maday with two outs in the seventh, Calhoun lined a 1-2 pitch back up the middle for a single.

"That was the first time all night I had two strikes on me," he said. "I'd gotten a pitch to drive earlier in the count, but I fouled it off. He threw me a good splitter and then he left a fastball up a little bit. I just hit it past the shortstop."

Although Calhoun has enjoyed a speedy rise through the Angels system -- he spent his first full season in the California League and skipped Double-A -- he believes the three-homer game will stand out.

"It's something I won't forget," he said. "It was a pretty cool experience."

Luke Carlin also homered for Salt Lake, which climbed over Tacoma into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Northern Division for the first time since April 23.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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