Isan Diaz put an exclamation point on Baby Cakes history Sunday.
Miami's sixth-ranked prospect set a franchise record by homering in his fifth straight game, launching a moon shot in the first inning, but Triple-A New Orleans was outslugged by Iowa, 14-10, at the Shrine on Airline. The teams combined for 28 hits, including five long balls.
Video: Diaz homers in fifth straight for New Orleans
"It's been great. You know, it's good to put together something positive like this and it feels good to be able to see some success," Diaz said. "But I didn't even know about the record. They told me when I got back to the dugout after I hit it and I was like, 'Whoa.'"
After JT Riddle fanned on four pitches in the bottom of the first inning, Diaz stepped in against 25th-ranked Cubs prospect Duane Underwood Jr. The 2014 first-round pick wasted no time setting the record as he turned around a first-pitch fastball from the right-hander and launched it beyond the wall in right field.
The ball left the park with an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled an estimated 418 feet. Diaz eclipsed the mark set by Destin Hood, who went yard in four straight games for the then-New Orleans Zephyrs from May 23-26, 2017.
"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit there. I knew he was trying to get ahead, so if I let that first one go by it would have been a more difficult at-bat," he said. "So I just tried to get the barrel to the ball and my thinking is just, wherever it goes, it goes."
Gameday box score
The 22-year-old is 9-for-20 with five roundtrippers, a double, three walks, 10 runs scored and eight RBIs in his last five games.
Two innings later, Diaz battled Underwood through an eight-pitch at-bat before grounding out to second. After taking a called third strike in the fourth, the Massachusetts high school product hit a slow roller back to the mound in the sixth off righty Rowan Wick.
The native of Puerto Rico lined a 1-0 offering from Cubs No. 24 prospect Dakota Mekkes into center for a base hit in the eighth. Lewis Brinson singled, Deven Marrero walked and Diaz raced home on a passed ball by Taylor Davis to tie the game, 10-10.
Diaz boosted his slash line to .274/.371/.503 with 20 extra-base hits, 41 runs scored and 30 RBIs through 48 games. He's tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in runs scored with Round Rock's Yordan Alvarez and El Paso's Josh Naylor, one behind Kevin Cron, who was promoted to the Major Leagues on Thursday.
2019 MiLB include
Diaz was named a 2018 MiLB.com Organization All-Star for the third time last season after splitting the year between Double-A Jacksonville and New Orleans and hitting a combined .232 with 13 dingers, 23 doubles, 63 runs scored and 56 RBIs over 119 games. He also swiped a career-high 14 bags.
"It feels good to be able to helps us get some wins out of this run. I know we fell a little short today, but things happen," said Diaz, whose team won the previous four games. "We had some chances there today, but we just couldn't make it happen.
"The most important thing for me right now has been just keeping things simple. Waiting for good pitches to hit and making good contact. So right now I'm not thinking about home runs or any records or anything like that, I'm just looking forward to continuing to see good pitches and not miss them."
Iowa's Jim Adduci capped a six-RBI day with a bases-loaded double in the ninth and fell a triple shy of the cycle. Ian Happ also collected three hits, walked, scored four times and knocked in a run.