Jake Burger had the works Thursday.
The No. 12 White Sox prospect hit for the cycle and reached base six times in his second career five-hit game to lead Class A Kannapolis to a 6-5 win over Greensboro in 11 innings at Intimidators Stadium.
Gameday box score
In his first trip to the dish, Burger worked the count full against Greensboro starter Dustin Beggs before ripping a single to left field on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. In the third, the 2017 first-round pick turned on an 0-2 fastball from Beggs and sent it out to right for a two-run homer.
"[Beggs] left a fastball up, middle away, and with two strikes, that's my approach," noted Burger, who has three homers in 39 games with the Intimidators. "He threw right into where I was swinging, so I was fortunate that he made a mistake. He made some good pitches that at-bat, but I was fortunate to get the fastball because that set me up for the rest of the game. Being able to drive the ball over the right-field fence kind of righted the ship for me."
2017 Minor League milestones
In the fifth, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound third baseman showed some wheels by legging out his second triple of the year. Once again, Burger fell behind in the count but got a pitch to hit and sent it to left, where the ball kicked off the wall.
"I was going hard out of the box and I had a triple earlier in the year on a similarly hit ball, so I knew I had a chance," explained Burger, who has produced a .293/.355/.440 slash line this year. "As I rounded first, I saw they hadn't picked it up yet, so I decided to get after it. I couldn't really tell what was going on in the outfield because I was running to third, but fortunately enough, I slid in and I was safe."
Needing a double for the cycle, Burger drew a four-pitch walk in the seventh.
"Right after I hit the triple, I was like, 'I'm a double away and I probably have two more at-bats tonight, don't try to hit the double but just let it happen. When I walked I was like, 'Oh, gosh. I don't know what's going to happen.' I got one at-bat left and we're going to see," he said.
Two innings later, the Missouri State product got another crack at history, and he delivered.
Burger got ahead of Greensboro reliever Chad Smith, 1-0, and then turned on a fastball and sent it to right. The 21-year-old was thinking two right out of the box.
"He left a fastball belt-high and I took it to right. It was one of those that was kind of in between, could I have got a triple? I don't know. I don't think so, but it was placed perfectly and I was happy I was standing on second because it was the first time I hit for the cycle. Everyone was pumped up. There were a lot of hugs going around and a lot of congratulations, from both our guys and the Greensboro players."
Already having notched the feat, Burger came up again in the 11th with a runner on first and nobody out. He squared up to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The ball landed in no-man's land and Burger was safe at first, setting up Gavin Sheets, Chicago's second-round pick in this year's Draft, with a chance to win the game.
"I can't even recall the last time I bunted for a base hit," he said with a laugh. "It was just my night. It was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt, but I placed it in the right spot. It's funny how the baseball gods work sometimes."
Sheets hit a walk-off single to center to put a bow on Burger's otherworldly game.
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MLB.com's No. 45 overall prospect Blake Rutherford finished 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI for the Intimidators.
"It's awesome hitting behind him and having Sheets behind me. It's a fun middle of the lineup to be a part of," Burger said. "Blake is kind of an energizer. Even if he gets a single, I know if I hit a ball in the gap I'll probably get an RBI because he's got such great speed."
Marlins No. 7 prospect Brian Miller led the way for the Grasshoppers with three hits. The 36th overall pick in June doubled and scored a pair of runs.