Chuckie Robinson dished out some revenge Sunday. Twice.
Houston's 26th-ranked prospect bashed a pair of dingers -- both times after Jake Adams reached base with a free pass -- and finished with a career-high seven RBIs as Class A Advanced Buies Creek outslugged Down East, 10-7, at Jim Perry Stadium. The teams combined for 20 hits -- eight of them for extra bases.
Gameday box score
"Whenever they put the guy on in front of you with a walk, it's definitely a little disrespectful," Robinson said. "So yeah, I wanted to make them pay for that."
The 2016 21st-round pick's previous career high was four RBIs, which he reached twice last season with Class A Quad Cities. He's also only posted a multi-homer game once before, against Beloit last May 29.
Known more for his defensive prowess behind the plate, the backstop has been working on his offense. He's hit safely in five of his last six games, with four multi-hit efforts and 11 RBIs over that stretch.
"Hitting is an ongoing thing. You never get complacent and you never stop working at hitting," Robinson said. "It's always good and rewarding when you have a good game at the plate, but I've been working hard and I'll continue to work hard."
In his first at-bat against the Wood Ducks, Robinson got underneath an 0-1 fastball and popped it up to first base in the second inning. The 23-year-old then stepped to the dish with one out in the third after Adams was intentionally walked in front of him to load the bases. Following a first-pitch changeup from left-hander Sal Mendez that bounced in the dirt, Robinson did not miss a fastball down the middle of the plate, depositing it over the wall in left field. The dinger capped a seven-run frame for the Astros.
"I knew they were trying to get me to ground out there, so I just tried to swing at something that I knew I could put in the air," Robinson said. "I was sitting on a fastball, and when I got it, I made sure I was on time for it. You never know if a ball is going to go out here at Buies Creek, but I knew right away that I hit it really well."
The Southern Mississippi product skied another infield popup, this time to short, to lead off the sixth. But in the eighth, Robinson came up with two on, one out and the game knotted, 7-7. After swinging over the top of the first pitch he saw from righty Jacob Lemoine (1-4), he worked the count to 3-1 and got another heater down the heart of the plate. He hammered it to left to give Buies Creek the lead for good.
"I was sitting fastball middle again, and the first pitch was a slider that I missed. After that, he threw me three balls outside, and I knew at 3-1 that he didn't want to walk me," Robinson said. "So I sold out to the middle of the zone and turned on it. I wasn't sure if this one was going to make it out, but I knew I barreled it up.
"It means a lot. My teammates were real happy and I was happy, it was a good situation. You know, it's not too often you have games with that many RBIs, so it's definitely cool to have that many and help the team win. Today was a good day."
Astros southpaw Patrick Sandoval allowed two runs on a pair of hits and a walk while fanning four over five frames. Abdiel Saldana (8-1) picked up his eighth victory of the season despite yielding five runs on nine hits and a walk with four punchouts over three innings.
Houston's No. 14 prospect Ronnie Dawson chipped in a pair of hits, two runs and an RBI.
Down East's LeDarious Clark smacked a pair of roundtrippers while going 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.