Kyle Tucker couldn't celebrate Memorial Day at a barbeque or the beach, so he did the next best thing.Houston's second-ranked prospect reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a season-high four RBIs, to help lead Triple-A Fresno past El Paso, 11-2, on Monday night at Chukchansi Park.
Kyle Tucker couldn't celebrate Memorial Day at a barbeque or the beach, so he did the next best thing.
Houston's second-ranked prospect reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a season-high four RBIs, to help lead Triple-A Fresno past El Paso, 11-2, on Monday night at Chukchansi Park. Tucker scored twice during his third three-hit game of the season, which snapped a 1-for-16 stretch that lowered his average to .270.
"I really wasn't trying to do anything different up there," he said. "We hit really well as a team, got things going early and kept the line moving. Thankfully, I was able to be a part of that."
MLB.com's No. 15 overall prospect singled to center field and scored on AJ Reed's sacrifice fly during Fresno's three-run first inning. He stroked a two-RBI double to center in the second and took third on a throwing error by El Paso shortstop Javy Guerra. Tucker crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Tyler White and added his fourth RBI on another double to right in the third. He walked in his last two plate appearances.
The outfielder recorded his third career game with four or more RBIs and his first since he plated five last Aug. 28 with Double-A Corpus Christi. He drove in a career-high seven runs with Class A Advanced Buies Creek on April 15, 2017.
"One of the things I'm focusing on this season is not to give up at-bats," Tucker said. "I'm learning the league and trying to be as disciplined as I can be. I want to get into counts where I make the pitchers feel like they need to come to me with a strike or face the option of walking me. I want to do what I want in the at-bat instead of letting him dictate things."
Gameday box score
He opened eyes during Spring Training with the Astros this year, when he hit .409 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 44 Grapefruit League at-bats. He was assigned to Fresno, where he batted .293/.371/.457 in his first month in Triple-A. The 21-year-old has been streakier in May, although his performance Monday brought his slash line this month up to .271/.351/.438. Overall, Tucker is batting .282/.361/.447 with five homers, 37 RBIs and 36 runs scored through his first 46 Pacific Coast League games.
"I felt good in the spring and heading into the season," he said. "I'm just trying to replicate that throughout the year. There's been a few setbacks here and there, but it's a long season and my first in this league. I'm seeing guys I haven't seen before. They have better stuff, better control, and it's something I need to continue to adjust to. [The pitchers] are a little more deceptive and get you to chase."
The younger brother of Braves outfielder Preston Tucker, Kyle enjoyed a string of solid seasons after he was selected No. 5 overall in the 2015 Draft. The Tampa, Florida native jumped to the head of the prospect list with a breakout season in 2017, setting numerous career highs while hitting .274/.346/.528 with 25 homers, 90 RBIs and 70 runs in 120 games between Buies Creek and Corpus Christi.
Jon Kemmer and Reed combined to go 5-for-7 with four doubles and five RBIs for the Grizzlies, who amassed seven doubles in the game.
Fresno starter Rogelio Armenteros (3-0), the Astros' 11th-ranked prospect, allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits in six innings. He didn't issue a walk and struck out three.
Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB.