Buxton homers, survives hit-by-pitch scare

Twins' top prospect gets season-high four hits in 17-inning marathon

Byron Buxton raised his batting average 53 points to a season-high .280 on Friday. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Yankees)

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com | July 19, 2014 1:08 AM ET

If the Twins' goal was to get Byron Buxton more at-bats, it was mission accomplished on Friday night.

MLB.com's top overall prospect saw nine plate appearances, going 4-for-6 with a homer, two walks and a hit by pitch during a 17-inning marathon. Buxton and Fort Myers lost to Daytona, 11-7, on Cubs prospect Rock Shoulders' walk-off grand slam.

Jorge Polanco, Minnesota's No. 8 prospect, chipped in five hits, including his sixth homer, two RBIs and a walk.

In the eighth, Buxton was hit by a pitch in the wrist area and, according to Fort Myers broadcaster Brice Zimmerman, he was in "visible pain" and had an "upset reaction." Buxton stayed in the game and played center field for all 17 innings.

Buxton scored three runs and drove in two. The performance continued a breakout week for the second overall pick in the 2012 Draft as he's gone 9-for-17 with two homers and a triple in his last three games.

The 20-year-old landed on the disabled list after injuring his left wrist diving for a fly ball in Spring Training. He was slated to start the year with Double-A New Britain but instead returned to Fort Myers on May 4. Five games later, he re-injured his wrist sliding into second base.

Buxton returned to action on June 6, again with the Miracle. He went 2-for-15 in his first six games but has since found his stroke. On Tuesday, he recorded his first multi-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with a triple and a walk. Two nights later, he picked up two more hits, including his second homer of the season.

Buxton led off Friday's game with a single up the middle, scoring with Polanco on designated hitter Nate Roberts' double. In the second inning, he smacked a two-run homer to left, his third long ball in 13 games this season.

The Georgia native led off the fourth with a walk, then singled and scored on Polanco's homer in the sixth. Buxton added one more single in the 17th, reaching third as Fort Myers loaded the bases with no outs. Daytona reliever Yao-Lin Wang killed the rally with consecutive strikeouts of Dalton Hicks, Adam Brett Walker II and Niko Goodrum.

Cubs first-rounder Kyle Schwarber slugged his first Florida State league home run in his third game with the D-Cubs, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored and a walk. The Indiana University product has eight homers in 31 games across three Minor League levels since he was drafted fourth overall.

Shoulders entered as a defensive replacement in the 11th for Cubs No. 4 prospect Albert Almora and ended things with his third grand slam of the season.

The teams combined for 39 strikeouts, one shy of the Florida State League record -- Miami and St. Petersburg combined for 40 in a 29-inning game on June 14, 1966.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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