Mondesi comes up grand again for Omaha

Royals infield prospect bashes slam in second straight game

Before Friday, Raul Mondesi played 539 games in the Minors and Majors without hitting a grand slam. (Minda Haas Kuhlmann)

By Gerard Gilberto / | July 8, 2017 10:49 PM ET

Entering a weekend series against Triple-A Iowa, Omaha second baseman Raul Mondesi had never hit a grand slam in 477 games in the Minor Leagues or 62 games in the Majors.

After just two nights at Principal Park, the Royals prospect has two. 

Mondesi went deep with the bags full for the second consecutive contest to push Omaha to a 5-1 victory on Saturday night. 

"He was ready to hit, but he was in control," Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg said. "A lot of times, he'll get up there and try and do too much and he slowed it down. It put him in a good position."

The 21-year-old clubbed the first grand slam of his six-year professional career on Friday night in the Storm Chasers' 7-5 loss to the Cubs.  

"Last night, we're down … and we had nothing going and he hits a grand slam to dead center field to give us some life," Poldberg recalled. "It was early in the count and he was ready to hit, and he got a fastball and he jumped on it."

Video: Omaha's Mondesi hits a grand slam

Mondesi, who in 2015 became the first player ever to make his Major League debut in the World Series, has been selected to participate in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Tuesday in Tacoma, Washington. In 61 games this season, the Los Angeles native is hitting .316/.346/.544 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs, and is tied for second in the Pacific Coast League with 18 stolen bases.

Gameday box score

The Storm Chasers were held without a baserunner for 4 1/3 innings by Iowa starter Aaron Brooks before Dean Anna singled to left. Brooks then struck out No. 23 Royals prospect Corey Toups and catcher Taylor Davis threw out Anna trying to steal second to end the inning. 

Brooks faced the minimum through five with the Cubs up, 1-0. But the floodgates opened in the sixth, starting with a first-pitch bunt single by Brayan Pena. Iowa's infield overshifted against the 240-pound backstop and while third baseman Jeimer Candelario, the Cubs' No. 3 prospect, moved to shortstop, the 17-year veteran pushed one down the left side.

"He knows how to play the game and he took advantage of that and kind of got us started," Poldberg said.

Terrance Gore bounced into a forceout before stealing second ahead of Garin Cecchini's line single to left that put runners on the corners.

In what Poldberg describes as a "safety squeeze-type situation," Billy Burns laid down a bunt that was unable to score Gore from third, but Brooks hesistated to throw to first and was unable to get the out there, leaving the bases loaded for Mondesi.

MiLB include

The first pitch was a hanging curveball in the heart of the strike zone that Mondesi launched over the right-field fence. 

"It was a no-doubter. It was way out. The smile was on his face when he come around third and it was all I needed to see," Poldberg said. "You know, the one thing is he's hit a lot of fastballs for home runs, but hitting the curveball was a big thing for me tonight."

Ryan O'Hearn, the No. 7 Kansas City prospect, hit a solo shot off  Pierce Johnson in the ninth inning.

Royals third-ranked prospect Eric Skoglund allowed a run on two hits with a season-high five walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Brian Flynn (4-1) scattered two hits and struck out two in three innings for the win.  

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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