On a night when he struck out in his first at-bat, Triston Casas stuck to his routine and it paid dividends.
Boston's top-ranked prospect was 4-for-5, including a two-run homer, with four RBIs and two runs scored as Class A Greenville topped Kannapolis, 9-2, on Monday at Fluor Field. He finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Video: Drive's Casas smashes two-run home
Facing No. 26 White Sox prospect Jonathan Stiever with one out and the bases loaded in the first inning, the first-round pick from last year's Draft swung at and missed a 3-2 pitch. Against the right-hander in the third, the left-handed hitting Casas stroked an RBI single to right field to plate Devlin Granberg. He scored on a two-run base hit by 14th-ranked Red Sox prospect Brandon Howlett, as the Drive took a 6-1 lead.
"After striking out, I was very disappointed," he admitted. "Bases loaded, one out ... I didn't come through. It was good the guys behind me came through.
"When they're putting together good ABs, when we're doing damage, we relay information, give feedback to each other. Tonight, we were hitting on all cylinders."
Gameday box score
In the fourth, the 19-year-old first baseman blasted a two-run homer to center off reliever Kevin Folman. That was his 11th dinger, which ties him for fourth in the South Atlantic League. A run-scoring double in the sixth raised his RBI total to 48, second on the circuit to Greensboro's Mason Martin (57).
Against lefty Tyler Watson in the eighth and needing a triple for the cycle, Casas lifted a two-out single to center to cap the four-hit effort.
"To be honest," he said, "I have not been feeling well at the plate. I've been striking out a lot, not being competitive in my at-bats. The home run, I got a pitch to handle -- a hanging changeup -- and it went over the fence. That was the best ball I hit all night."
Casas' six-game hit streak has included "a lot of 1-fors" and "too many strikeouts," the 2017 18U World Cup MVP said. He is 11-for-21 (.524) with five RBIs and six runs scored during the streak but has whiffed 10 times.
"I put in the same amount of work every day," said the Florida native, whose batting average is a season-high .275. "I have a good routine that I've developed since the first of the season. I don't adjust the amount of work. It's just part of the grind."
The Drive played 13 of their last 20 games on the road, and Casas believes homecooking made a difference Monday.
"I was seeing the ball really well tonight," he said. "Coming home is always good. Greenville has good lighting and a good [hitters'] backdrop. I took advantage of that. I didn't hit everything hard, but I found the holes."
2019 MiLB include
Howlett was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Tyler Esplin and Jordan Wren also added multiple hits to the Drive's 15-hit attack.
Corey Zangari had two solo homers for the Intimidators.
Stiever (4-5) took the loss after yielding six runs on eight hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out five.
No. 20 Boston prospect Alex Scherff (2-5) scattered two hits and three walks across six innings, allowing one run while punching out five for the victory.