Andrew Brown hasn't been happy with his performance at the plate this season, so he's been putting in extra work with Springfield Cardinals hitting coach Derrick May.
The diligence began to pay off with six hits in 12 at-bats during a three-game series against Frisco. But the real reward came Sunday, when the former 18th-round pick launched two home runs, including a grand slam, and collected seven RBIs in the Cardinals' 13-0 rout of the Midland RockHounds.
Brown went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .300 for the first time this season.
"It's turned around for me a little the past couple of games," he said. "It was a rough start coming out of Spring Training. I'd like to get back to 2008 when I put up better numbers. I don't want to strike out as much as I did in 2008. It's all about being patient and getting better pitches to hit."
Brown got a good pitch to hit with the bases loaded in the third inning. Midland starter Ben Hornbeck threw a changeup on a 2-1 count, left it over the middle of the plate and Brown didn't hesitate.
"I put the good wood on it," he said of the pitch he drove to straightaway center.
The grand slam would've been enough for Springfield to win because starter David Kopp and reliever Ryan Kulik combined on a seven-hitter. But Brown was just getting started.
The University of Nebraska product showed he's not just a masher by driving in a run with a groundout in the fifth and another with a single in the sixth. He added a solo shot off Justin Souza in the eighth to cap his career day.
"I've had two home runs before but never seven RBIs," said Brown, who had a two-homer, five-RBI game just six days after he was promoted to Springfield for the first time in 2008. "We pitched well, too, and played good defense. Everything went about as well as it could go."
The 25-year-old corner infielder believes he is starting to figure out how to succeed in the Double-A Texas League. Brown batted .285 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs in 74 games with Springfield last year after missing about seven weeks with a broken bone in his hand.
"Once you get above A-ball, the pitchers really know what they're doing," Brown said. "They know how to get you out."