Hoes extends hit streak to 18 games

O's prospect collects three RBIs, scores three runs for Tides

By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com | July 7, 2012 6:24 PM ET

L.J. Hoes arrived at the ballpark on Saturday night with the same singular mind-set he always carries onto the field.

"There are people who have never seen L.J. Hoes play or don't know who L.J. Hoes is," he said, "so I just try to go out there every day and leave an impression on somebody, leave a mark."

Of late, Hoes has been making a dent with his bat. The Orioles' No. 12 prospect extended his hitting streak to 18 games by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored in the Norfolk Tides' 10-6 road win over the Charlotte Knights.

Leading off, Hoes singled and smacked a three-run double on a first-pitch fastball away in the Tides' nine-run first inning. The 22-year-old outfielder also grounded out in the fourth, walked in the sixth and singled again in the eighth.

Hoes, a 2008 third-round Draft pick, has tied Syracuse's Corey Brown for the third-longest hitting streak of the season in the International League. Vinny Rottino, who was with Buffalo, and Brad Eldred, then with Toledo, both had 20-game streaks in the season's first two months.

"I feel like I'm playing pretty well," the outfielder said, "but I can't look at the numbers, get too high, get too low."

He has this attitude because a low immediately preceded his current high. In his first two weeks at Triple-A -- following a promotion from Double-A Bowie on June 1 -- Hoes was hitting at a .148 clip (8-for-54). On June 16, he went 3-for-4 and clubbed his first IL home run.

"It definitely was an adjustment coming to Triple-A," said Hoes, who spent parts of the last two seasons playing for the Baysox. "My first couple weeks, I was hitting balls hard right at some guys. I kept with it and now balls are starting to get through for me.

"I didn't change anything in my swing or my stance or anything. I just looked at a little bit of film, made a couple of adjustments, just trying to let the ball get a little bit deeper or hit it out in front. It just depends. It's different up here because a lot more [pitchers] throw cutters and sinkers, so I have had to get used to the movement."

During his current stretch, which began on June 18, he's batting .449 (31-for-69) to hike his Triple-A average to .321. Regarding his turnaround, he also cited the help of teammates. And they helped out plenty Saturday night.

Veterans Bill Hall and Nate McLouth homered in the eventful first frame. The Tides chased starter Charlie Leesman after the White Sox No. 10 prospect recorded just one out. Leesman (7-7) was charged with four runs on three hits.

"Being around this great group of veteran guys, talking with Lew (Ford) and Nate and Bill about different scenarios, how guys are pitching me, different pitches to hit, it's definitely good," Hoes said of working with the trio. "Being the young guy on the team, I am just trying to learn."

Norfolk starter Zach Britton (3-1) moved past a three-run sixth to complete eight innings. The left-hander was charged with four runs on eight hits while striking out three.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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