It took Donavan Tate being reassigned and Cory Spangenberg signing quickly, but could the short-season Eugene Emeralds be any happier with their new 1-2 punch?
Tate registered his first career five-hit game and Spangenberg slugged his first homer as a pro Sunday as the Padres prospects led the Emeralds to a 14-4 rout of the Everett AquaSox.
The Emeralds scored in six different innings, and the pair of former first-round Draft picks -- batting second and third in the lineup -- were of significant help.
Spangenberg, the 10th player taken in this month's Draft, hit a three-run homer in the opening inning off AquaSox starter Bennett Whitmore.
"Our first two hitters got on, so I was just looking to put to ball in the air," Spangenberg said. "He left a slider out over the plate and I got it.
"I probably won't have too many more this year, so it was was nice to get the first one out of the way."
He also doubled in a pair of runs in the second for the most productive day of his brief pro career.
Spangenberg is tied for the early Northwest League lead with 11 RBIs in 10 games. The 20-year-old second baseman has five two-hit efforts over his past seven games and is batting .394.
"I'm just trying not to do too much with the pitches," he said.
Tate singled and doubled ahead of Spangenberg in each of the first two innings. He scored four times and fell a homer shy of the cycle, flying out to center field in his final plate appearance in the ninth.
Tate's previous career best was a 4-for-4 performance in the Rookie-level Arizona League last July 1, 2010.
Taken third overall in the 2009 Draft, Tate went 6-for-19 for Class A Fort Wayne before joining Eugene. The 21-year-old center fielder started his Emeralds' tenure by going 0-for-13 but has 14 hits in his last 32 at-bats to get his average up to .311.
Spangenberg said he's enjoyed teaming with Tate, who even while struggling was picking up teammates up with his positive attitude.
"He's a great player and an even a better teammate, one of the best teammates I have ever had," Spangenberg said.
Leadoff man Clint Moore also stood out for the Emeralds, smacking his first career homer and plating four runs. A 31st-round pick this month, he also scored four times.
Reliever Greg Gonzalez (1-0) got the win after allowing one hit over three scoreless innings.