Prentice Redman experienced one of the highlights of his baseball career on Sunday. He just wished it didn't come at the expense of a friend and former teammate.
Redman hit three homers off Gaby Hernandez and tied a career high with six RBIs to power the Albuquerque Isotopes to an 11-5 victory over the Tacoma Rainiers.
It was the first career three-homer game for Redman, who broke into the Minor Leagues in 1999 at Rookie-level Kingsport in the Mets organization.
"Yeah, I did a little damage today," he said. "I was just trying to work on hitting some line drives, getting some good pitches to hit."
The big day came against Hernandez, Redman's teammate on the Rainiers last season.
"I feel all right. I'm pretty sure he won't be too happy about it," Redman said. "Actually, I don't like facing people I know, people I'm friends with. But there's no telling what will happen next time. He might pitch pretty well and deal on me. I'll take what I can."
The 30-year-old outfielder came in with seven hits in his previous 13 at-bats and wasted little time extending his roll. After Major League veteran Jay Gibbons got the Isotopes on the board with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning, Redman launched a three-run shot to put them ahead, 4-3.
"I had two strikes. I think it was 2-2 and [Hernandez] was trying to blow a fastball by me, but he caught too much of the plate," he said.
In the third, Gibbons hit a two-out, two-run blast and Redman went back-to-back to extend Albuquerque's lead to 7-3.
"The second one, he kind of hung a slider," the former Southern League All-Star said.
Omaha climbed within 7-5 in the fourth, but Redman capped a three-run fifth with a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.
"He kept coming inside with a sinker, then he threw a four-seamer inside," he said.
Redman became the eighth player in team history to hit three homers in a game and the first since Dee Brown last May 22.
"This ranks up there high. It's definitely one of my highlights," he chuckled.
After three seasons in the Mariners organization, Redman signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers in December. He went to Spring Training to compete for a job as an extra outfielder.
"Before I signed, they had their three starters in the outfield. I was trying to make that fifth spot," the Alabama native said. "They had [Jason] Repko and Xavier Paul battling for the fourth and fifth jobs. I thought I could go in there and try to battle, too. And they're a National League team, they use more position players."
Redman has fit right in with the Isotopes, whose outfield includes fellow Major League veterans Gibbons, Paul and Michael Restovich. He already leads the Pacific Coast League with five homers and 15 RBIs and ranks fifth with a .400 batting average.
"The coaches are nice and easy-going. There are a lot of outfielders, so there's no pressure," Redman said. "All we have to do is play hard."