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Wolters, Javelinas break out in rout of Sox

Top six spots in Peoria order combine to go 10-for-22 in fourth victory
October 24, 2014

Having scored just four runs over the course of a four-game losing streak, the Peoria Javelinas needed a breakout day at the plate. On Friday afternoon, they came through.

Cleveland's No. 18 prospect, Tony Wolters, reached base three times and scored twice, his Indians teammate Jordan Smith went 3-for-3 and drove in two, and Peoria snapped its skid with a 9-4 thumping of Mesa.

"We have a lot of winners on this team, and it's hard on us," Wolters said after Friday's victory, just the fourth for the Javelinas in 14 games this season. "But we're getting through it. Everyone is focused and ready to go. It's tough losing, but that's baseball, though. It's making us better players."

After falling behind courtesy of Mesa's four-run first, Peoria rallied with a five-run second. Rays prospect Patrick Leonard and Atlanta's Daniel Castro each ripped two-run singles to help give the Javs their first lead since a 4-3 walk-off victory over Scottsdale on October 18.

Wolters singled to put runners at second and third in the fourth inning and added walks in the sixth and eighth, scoring after his first free pass.

"I'm starting to see it," he said. "It's tough not playing every day, but while I'm sitting, I'm trying to have mental at-bats. I'm trying to stay going. I can still work on my swing and still work on catching. There are a lot of teammates I can talk to and learn from. I just try to do my job every time."

The Javelinas entered the day batting .215 as a team, by far the lowest mark in the AFL. They lifted that mark seven points on Friday alone, tallying 11 hits and going 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Smith doubled in the second, singled to lead off the third and tacked on an RBI single in the sixth for his first three-hit day of the AFL season.

"I've played with Jordan for three years," Wolters said. "He's a grinder, and he keeps wanting to get better and better. He never gives at-bats away. He's consistent, and he's getting better every day like all of us. It's fun being around him. He always brings energy to the team."

After starter and No. 15 Indians prospect Dylan Baker yielded four runs on three hits in just a third of an inning, Peoria's bullpen combined to blank Mesa over the ensuing 8 2/3. Royals prospect Daniel Stumpf (1-0) led the way with 2 2/3 perfect innings.

"Baker, he has three pitches that are unreal," Wolters said. "He's still trying to figure out how he's throwing and get his mechanics going. He can throw 100. He's just trying to get it back. He's going to be a big leaguer one day for sure.
"[The bullpen] came in and picked up Baker. We established fastball in and out got quick outs and got the momentum on our side. I'm proud of our relievers for doing that."
Sixteenth-ranked Washington prospect Felipe Rivero (1-3) didn't make it out of Peoria's big second inning, charged with five runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.