Nick Senzel's four-RBI night on Tuesday would have been noteworthy on its own, but the fact that it matched his total for the entire month of April was not lost on the 21-year-old.
The Reds' top prospect homered, doubled and tied his career high with four RBIs to power Class A Advanced Daytona past Bradenton, 6-3, at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Senzel has collected a double in four straight games and extended his hitting streak to five with his 11th multi-hit effort of the season. He leads the Florida State League with 14 doubles in 37 games.
Gameday box score
"I'm just being more consistent, taking more consistent at-bats," Senzel said. "I'm up there trying to recognize pitches better and hit the ball where it's pitched.
"People always want to talk about the home run ball, but my job is to get on base, have good AB's and drive in runs. Just try to take good swings when I get good pitches to hit."
It wasn't a double from Senzel but a long ball that put the Tortugas on top in the first inning. After Reds No. 13 prospect Shed Long singled to left, the 21-year-old took Pirates No. 2 prospect Mitch Keller over the left field fence for his third homer of the season. Senzel had one homer in his first 116 at-bats but has gone deep twice in the last seven games.
MLB.com's No. 22 overall prospect flied to right in his next two plate appearances, but with Daytona clinging to a 3-2 lead in the seventh, he ripped a two-run double to center and scored on Gavin LaValley's single to right. Senzel had a pair of four-RBI games last year with Class A Dayton, most recently on Aug. 22 against Lansing.
"I've been doing a horrible job [driving in runners] and I knew that," said Senzel, who had four RBIs in 97 at-bats in April. "I wasn't driving in runs when guys were in scoring position and, even worse, I wasn't having good AB's. You try to take the pressure off of yourself, particularly when guys get on, and just try to make it a little simpler. That's helped me out a lot more this month. I'm taking what they're giving me and not trying to do too much.
"It was a frustrating first month, for sure. I couldn't get anyone in and it was always on my mind."
The second overall pick in last year's Draft got his career off to a quick start. He batted .305/.398/.514 with 34 extra-base hits and 40 RBIs in 58 games with Rookie-level Billings and Dayton. Bumped up to the Florida State League, Senzel had a relatively quiet April, hitting .278 with a homer and four RBIs, but he's heated up in May with a .313 average and nine RBIs in 13 games.
The Atlanta native has a .290/.352/.448 slash line in his first 37 FSL games and, despite coming out of the University of Tennessee a polished player, he hasn't thought about reaching the Majors yet.
"I saw a lot of good arms last year, but there are good pitchers here, too," Senzel said. "The guys here have a little better idea of what they're trying to do. Some of the guys in the bullpen have a little more velocity, too, but other than that, it's just baseball and I'm just enjoying playing.
"I'm blessed to play this game for a living, so I try and go out there every day and enjoy it. There will be ups and downs, but as long as I stay as consistent as possible, I've got a good chance to progress as a player."
Long had a double and finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Tortugas. In addition to his RBI single, LaValley slugged his team-leading eighth homer.
Daytona starter Jesus Reyes (4-1) allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out a season-high nine in six innings. Reds No. 27 prospect Tanner Rainey walked one and struck out four in two scoreless frames to earn his sixth save.
Cole Tucker, the Pirates' fifth-ranked prospect, doubled singled and drove in a pair of runs for Bradenton, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped. Keller exited after one inning due to tightness in his back.