Barons' Collins slugs two long balls

No. 9 White Sox prospect records second multi-homer game

Zack Collins leads the Southern League with 37 walks and is fifth with a .421 on-base percentage. (Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)

By Rob Terranova / MiLB.com | May 20, 2018 10:51 PM

Zack Collins made up for lost time in a big way on Sunday.

The ninth-ranked White Sox prospect ended an 0-for-7 slide by collecting three hits -- including a pair of solo shots for the second multi-homer game of his career and first in 636 days.

But it was not enough to power Double-A Birmingham past Montgomery as the Barons dropped a 10-4 decision at Regions Field.

Video: Collins blasts his second homer for Barons

"I felt pretty good," Collins said. "I saw the ball really well and put good wood on it and good things just happened."

The 23-year-old backstop put Birmingham ahead with a blast to right-center field in the opening inning on the first pitch he saw from right-handed starter Eduar Lopez (2-2).

After drawing a four-pitch walk in the third, it was déjà vu in the fifth as Collins led off the inning with another first-pitch dinger off Lopez to the same spot.

The No. 10 overall pick from 2016 had two more chances at a milestone game, but he singled to right off southpaw Jordan Harrison in the seventh, then made the final out of the game with a deep fly ball to left after just getting under a 3-1 fastball.


Gameday box score


"My approach didn't really change after I hit the first two out," Collins said. "I'm always looking to drive the ball and getting that third hit was big for me. In that last at-bat, I'm not trying to draw a walk there because were down so many runs. I got myself into a hitters' count and got a good pitch to hit and I just barely missed it. I got the barrel on it, but I just missed it and it was a can of corn."

Top-ranked White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez extended his on-base streak to seven plate appearances with a line-drive single to right in the first, a six-pitch walk in the third and another laser to center for a single in the fifth. MLB.com's No. 3 overall prospect had the streak snapped in the seventh when he grounded into a double play. He went 2-for-3, one night after going 4-for-4 with a run scored.

Video: Jimenez extends on-base streak to seven for Barons

"Who doesn't want to hit in front of Eloy?" Collins chuckled. "And it's just been clicking for us lately. It takes a lot of pressure off to know that if you get on base there's a guy behind you who's going to drive you in, and if one guy is having a bad night, the next guy is gonna pick him up. You can include (No. 21 prospect Seby Zavala) in that too with the season he's been having. So it's been pretty cool to have that."

Collins' first multi-homer game came for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem on Aug. 23. 2016.

"I do remember my first [one]. It was my rookie year and we were in Frederick and it was a lot of fun," Collins said. "We won that game and today we lost, so this definitely wasn't as fun, but any time you have a multi-homer game, it gives you confidence and helps you stay relaxed. That's something you can always take into the next game."

Jordan Guerrero (1-5) gave up four runs on six hits over four innings for the Barons. The left-hander walked five and struck out one.

MiLB include

Michael Russell notched his first career five-hit game for Montgomery, going 5-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI. It was the first five-hit performance by a Biscuit since Rays 23rd-ranked prospect Nick Ciuffo went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs last August in an 8-7 victory over Mobile in 11 innings.

Tampa Bay's No. 11 prospect Nick Solak homered, doubled and drove in four runs on a three-hit day.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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