Bryce Brentz isn't necessarily a superstitious person, but even he will admit he's not going to change a routine when it's working. For example, the Boston's No. 2 prospect
recently decided to chew neither gum nor sunflower seeds during games.
Don't expect to see him with either any time soon.
A day after going after 5-for-5 at the plate, Brentz recorded a hit -- two single and a double -- in his first three at-bats Monday to give him hits in eight straight consecutive plate appearances. The Sea Dogs outfielder/designated hitter finished the day 3-for-4 with an RBI as Portland triumphed over Reading, 2-1.
"Baseball's a funny sport, you know," Brentz said. "Every time you get a bad streak going, you get a hot one like this. You try to stay even keel, but at the same time, you've got to ride it and enjoy it."
In his last 10 games including Monday's performance, the 36th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, is hitting .474 (18-for-38) with two hits or more in six of those contests. He is hitting .294 on the season, nearly three weeks after the number sat as low as .195 on April 24.
Brentz, ranked as MLB.com's No. 59 prospect, acknowledged that he does have one routine that he has attempted to keep during his recent run of success.
The Tennessee native has grown accustomed to putting on his shin guards, elbow guard and batting gloves in that order before at-bats. But prior to his at-bat in the seventh inning Monday, Brentz realized he put on the elbow guards first, causing him to worry that his lucky streak might have run its course after seven straight hits. Instead, the 23-year-old smacked his eighth double of the season to center field.
Although he acknowledged it is difficult to stay humble when his average is soaring, Brentz, who batted .306 and hit 30 home runs between Class A Greenville and Class A Advanced Salem last season, added he doesn't have to look too far back to achieve the trick.
"For me, you just remember the past," he said. "I was hitting .200 earlier this year and was doing the same for the whole time I was at [Class A Short-Season Lowell in 2010]. So I've been down in the dumps a few times. You just don't take this kind of thing for granted."
Even so, Brentz admitted he tries not to look at his statistics too much, especially early in the season.
"I've obviously heard a lot about them over the last couple days, but it's still May," he said. "It's not the end of the season. I just look at things day to day and try to stay grounded."
Boston's No. 15 prospect Oscar Tejeda doubled and scored a run.
Sea Dogs hurler Chris Martin (3-3) allowed an unearned run and struck out six over five innings. He replaced scheduled starter Red Sox No. 16 prospect Stolmy Pimentel, who was scratched with a blister on his right index finger.
Reading shortstop Troy Hanzawa saw his 14-hame hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.