Larish plates 10 in Cats' twinbill sweep

Sacramento newcomer slugs three homers in doubleheader

Jeff Larish has six hits and 11 RBIs in three games with Sacramento. (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to | August 6, 2010 9:44 PM ET

Jeff Larish hasn't even stepped foot in his new city yet, but he made an almost immediate impact for the Sacramento River Cats.

In just his third day with his new organization, Larish hit three homers and drove in 10 runs Friday as Sacramento swept a doubleheader from the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The former fifth-round Draft pick went 2-for-4 with a three-run blast in the opener, a 14-5 rout, then went deep twice and collected seven RBIs in the nightcap, a 12-3 romp.

"I'm so exhausted that it's hard to process it," he said. "It is always nice to do that with a new group. It is a fun group to play with."

Until Tuesday, Larish had spent his entire 5 1/2-year career with the Detroit Tigers. He made his Major League debut in 2008 and split last season between Detroit and Triple-A Toledo. After a third callup last month, Oakland claimed him off waivers and optioned him to the Pacific Coast League.

Larish was batting .275 with 15 homers in 84 games for Toledo this year before he was moved.

With three games against the Isotopes, he's yet to unpack his bags in California. And with another game on Saturday in Albuquerque followed by a four-game series at Round Rock, Larish won't get to the West Coast until Aug. 13.

"Being in the organization with the Tigers for as long as I have, it can be hard. But the coaching staff and the players here have all been very welcoming," he said. "The change of scenery has been nice."

As well as playing in new venues with new teammates, Larish said the change has helped him relax more at the plate.

"My main problem is trying too hard," he said. "[Oakland] said they have been wanting me for a while, and when I came here there was a weight off my shoulders. We have a good offense and it is easy to fit in here."

If the Arizona State product needed time to adjust to PCL pitching, it didn't show Friday night in his second and third games with the River Cats.

In the nightcap, Larish recorded his first multi-homer game since he went yard twice for Toledo against Louisville in August 2008. The seven RBIs were one more than he produced for Double-A Erie in 2007 against Bowie.

"I can't even tell you the last time I had seven RBIs," the 27-year-old said. "I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. It is a lot easier to hit when there are men on base and the pitcher is focusing on them."

As impressive as his performance was, it could have been even better. Larish came to bat with runners on first and second in both the fifth and seventh innings of Game 2. But the Iowa native said he wasn't thinking about a three-homer night or a double-digit RBI game.

"When you start doing that, you get into trouble," said Larish, who played third base in the opener and first base in the nightcap. "You can't force it, you just have to let it happen and trust yourself."

And, Larish added, as long as he stays focused at the plate, there's every chance Sacramento can overtake first-place Fresno in the Pacific South Division.

"I want to be myself and relax and be the best player I can be. That is my goal," he said. "If we keep hitting like this, the pitching is doing a darn good job and we have a great chance of winning."

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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