With only two hits in his last 21 at-bats, Andy Yerzy had cooled off a tad after a strong start to the season.
The D-backs' 18th-ranked prospect caught fire again Friday, collecting four hits and reaching base five times in five plate appearances as Class A Short Season Hillsboro defeated Salem-Keizer, 6-3, at Volcanoes Stadium.
"Just sticking with my approach," Yerzy said. "The last few games, I feel like I've been getting good pitches to hit and I was just missing them, so my main goal today was just to get the barrel to pitches I know I can handle."
Gameday box score
In the first inning, Yerzy poked a single through the right side off Volcanoes starter Gregory Santos and scored when Francis Martinez followed with a double. Leading off the third against the right-hander, the 2016 second-round pick singled to center. He drew a two-out walk in the fourth against reliever Alejandro De La Rosa.
Yerzy came up with two outs in the sixth and took an 0-2 offering from righty Mack Meyer into right field for his third hit of the game. Battling Meyer in another 0-2 hole in the eighth, the left-handed-hitting 20-year-old recorded another knock to right. Going up the middle and keeping his swing short was an emphasis for Yerzy as he sought to break out of his mini-slump.
"For one, believing you're better than the rut you're in," he said. "And just simplifying and sticking to your game plan, which for me is to barrel a ball in the air through the middle of the field."
As the night wore on, Yerzy said his confidence kept growing.
"When you're in a skid and you can get a couple hits in your first couple at-bats, you almost feel like you're playing with house money," he said.
The North York, Ontario, native boosted his average to .324 with an .848 OPS. In 54 Pioneer League games last season, Yerzy clubbed 13 homers with 45 RBIs and posted a .298/.365/.524 slash line. He believes his adjustment to the Northwest League is going smoothly.
"I feel pretty comfortable at the plate and behind it," he said. "Baseball is still baseball and the No. 1 thing to playing well is believing you belong there."
Martinez doubled twice, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice.
"The win was huge," Yerzy said. "We just like to win in general. Baseball's always more fun when you're winning and our team hates to lose."
Aaron Bond smacked a two-run homer on a two-hit night for the Volcanoes.