Fresh off a trip to the Triple-A All Star Game, Sam Hilliard could hardly have started his second half on a higher note.
The ninth-ranked Rockies prospect went deep twice and drove in a career-high six runs as Albuquerque cruised to a 13-1 victory over El Paso on Friday night at Southwest University Park. He went 3-for-5 and has homered in back-to-back games and six of his last eight contests.
Video: Albuquerque's Hilliard connects on a grand slam
Hilliard headed into the break with a .254/.312/.548 slash line. In his first at-bat Friday, he laced a double of a 2-2 pitch from starter Bryan Mitchell. He did even more damage in his second plate appearance against the right-hander.
With one out and the bases loaded in the second, he needed to see only three pitches from Mitchell before blasting his second grand slam of the season and the Isotopes' second in as many games.
Gameday box score
Hilliard wasn't done. After drawing a four-pitch walk in the third and striking out in the fifth, he tagged right-handed reliever Tyler Higgins for a two-run blast in Albuquerque's four-run eighth. It capped his fourth career multi-homer game and came one night after teammate Drew Weeks homered twice in the same inning.
With 26 big flies, Hilliard moved into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Coast League, three behind Reno's Kevin Cron. He's also second behind Cron (80) with 75 RBIs. The 2015 15th-round pick has a .259/.318/.569 slash line and started for the PCL in Wednesday's All-Star Game in El Paso. In July, he's hitting .375 (12-for-32) with a 1.412 OPS, six homers and 14 RBIs in eight games.
2019 MiLB include
Rockies No. 10 prospect Josh Fuentes doubled on a three-hit night, while Elliot Soto swatted three singles and Weeks doubled and drove in three runs.
Staked to an early lead, Isotopes starter Jeff Hoffman (5-5) gave up a run on five hits over five innings. He struck out seven without issuing a walk.
Boog Powell went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in El Paso's lone run.