Tucker leads runaway Express offense

No. 12 overall prospect homers twice in four-hit, four-RBI game

Kyle Tucker has hit 81 home runs in 455 Minor League games since turning professional in 2015. (Jim Redman/MiLB.com)

By Katie Woo / MiLB.com | June 7, 2019 3:02 AM

There was no stopping Kyle Tucker on Thursday night. Or the rest of the Express, for that matter.

The Astros' second-ranked prospect crushed two long balls for the second time in three games while going 4-for-7 with four RBIs and three runs as Triple-A Round Rock posted a 13-run seventh inning and rolled to a 26-11 rout of Las Vegas at Las Vegas Ballpark. Taylor Jones, who was 5-for-5, and Nick Tanielu collected six RBIs apiece and combined for eight runs scored.

Gameday box score

Tucker, MLB.com's No. 12 overall prospect, went hungry in his first two plate appearances but connected in his third at-bat in dramatic fashion. Leading off the fifth, the 22-year-old lofted Las Vegas starter Jake Buchanan's 1-1 offering behind the seats in right field, extending Round Rock's lead to 4-1. 

That was just the beginning of the offensive barrage. The Express pounded out 24 hits -- including 11 in the seventh inning, when they batted around before recording an out. Tucker delivered an RBI single in both of his at-bats in that frame as Round Rock collected three doubles and 16 total base runners.

Even with the Express carrying a 22-7 lead into the ninth, Tucker tacked on another run, hammering a 2-1 pitch from Eric Campbell (a first baseman making his third career pitching appearance) for his second solo dinger of the game and 20th jack of the season. It marked Tucker's second two-homer game of the series -- he also knocked two solo blasts in Tuesday's opening game. The fifth overall pick in the 2015 Draft has compiled three straight 20-homer seasons, and his accomplishments Thursday capped his fastest march to that number.

The native of Tampa, Florida, who is ranked as the second-highest outfielder prospect, is second among active Pacific Coast League players in home runs, trailing only teammate Yordan Alvarez (22), who scored two runs and reached with a pair of walks. Tucker is batting .264/.338/.618 over 55 PCL games this year.2019 MiLB include

Tanielu put together his second straight two-dinger game, giving him 10 on the year. Jones, a 2016 19th-rounder, homered, too, and is 18-for-39 (.462) over his last 10 games and has scored eight runs over four games, including five on Thursday.

Lost in Round Rock's monster offense was Franklin Barreto's 5-for-5 night for the Aviators. Barreto also had a two-homer night, connecting on a two-run blast in the sixth and a solo shot in the ninth. The 23-year-old fell a triple short of the cycle in his first career five-hit game and has tallied 13 hits in his last four contests. He's gone yard four times in a four-game span.

Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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