Garneau homers twice in AFL rout

Rockies backstop plates six runs, catches five-hit shutout

Dustin Garneau hit 13 homers in 96 Double-A games. (Tony Farlow/Four Seam Images)

By Ashley Marshall | October 26, 2013 3:09 PM ET

Rockies catching prospect Dustin Garneau came into the Arizona Fall League with two main goals: hit the leather off the baseball and improve his game-calling behind the plate.

Considering how things on both sides of the ball Saturday, he can consider himself a perfect 2-for-2.

Garneau homered twice, plated six runs and orchestrated a five-hit shutout as the Salt River Rafters routed the host Peoria Javelinas, 20-0.

"It's going great," the 26-year-old said of his time in Arizona so far. "I have no complaints. I'm playing in Scottsdale so you can't beat that. It's a great league. The travel is easy and the talent is unbelievable.

"[I'm] just trying to receive the ball well behind the dish and call a good game and then hit the ball hard whenever I have to."

Selected by the Rockies in the 19th round of the 2009 Draft, Garneau smacked a two-run homer to left field with two outs in the fourth inning and he added a grand slam to left with one away in the seventh.

"Going up there, the guy that was throwing, I faced him all year at Double-A so I had an idea what he had," Garneau said of his first long ball off Jason Adam. "I was just going up there hacking. I'm trying to hit the fastball every time. It was really high so I didn't know if it was going to go over the fence. I sprinted to first [base] and then I saw the umpire signalling. That's when I knew.

"[The second home run], I knew I got it pretty well. I was sitting fastball again. I knew [Carson Smith] had a good arm. It was the second pitch, 1-0, a fastball in."

As you would expect from such a lopsided score, Garneau -- who hit .236 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs in 96 games with Double-A Tulsa in the Texas League this season -- wasn't the only member of his team to log a big game.

Rockies No. 15 prospect Cristhian Adames went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and four runs scored as he missed hitting for the cycle by the triple, right fielder Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals) was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and No. 9 Rays prospect Richie Schaffer was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two walks, two RBIs and five runs scored.

"[Adames] was a huge part of our team, being a shortstop," Garneau said of his Drillers teammate. "He hit .270 and beat it up like he was supposed to."

On the mound, starter Bo Schultz (D-backs, 1-0) scattered two hits while striking out five batters over five innings. Arizona teammate Henry Garcia, Mike Montgomery (Rays) and Dean Kiekhefer (Cardinals) each worked around one hit over an inning of relief and Rockies reliever Cole White completed the shutout with a hitless ninth frame.

"When you're on our side, it's a lot of fun," California native Garneau added. "Being a catcher, it's great getting a shutout and being on both sides of the ball. [Schultz] was on point today. All of them were. It's great for them, because they had a 20-run lead and still shut the door like they did. It was as good as it gets today."

Added Shaffer: "It was pretty awesome. The whole team was kind of clicking on all cylinders. The pitching was lights-out. Guys were getting on base. Everyone was having great at-bats. Everyone was kind of feeding off each other. It was pretty awesome.

"[Garneau] had a really great game today. He was seeing the ball well. He got a couple pitches that he just absolutely did not miss, and he crushed them. I was happy for him. He had a great game. They were just two no-doubters, so it was pretty cool to be on base for those, especially a grand slam. It was a fun game and something that we'll remember forever."

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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