Las Vegas' d'Arnaud homers again

Catching prospect goes deep for seventh time in nine games

Travis d'Arnaud's nine homers in May rank second in the Minors. (Las Vegas 51s)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to | May 27, 2012 6:10 PM ET

At the start of the month, Travis d'Arnaud said he had simplified his approach at the plate and stopped trying too hard to impress his new teammates.

As May draws to an end, the Blue Jays' catching prospect is now one of the hottest hitters in the Minors.'s No. 22 prospect went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs on Sunday in the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s' 8-3 win over the Salt Lake Bees.

The 23-year-old struck out swinging in the first inning, but he smacked a two-run homer off Juan Rincon for his 11th longball of the year in the third.

The catcher then plated Anthony Gose from second base with a two-out double in the fifth frame, struck out in the seventh and drove home a fourth run with a two-bagger to center field in the ninth.

Toronto's top prospect is now batting .318 through 42 Pacific Coast League games, thanks to a particularly hot stretch.

After batting .282 with two homers in April, d'Arnaud has a .352 average and nine homers in 21 games so far in May.

All nine of his roundtrippers this month have come in the last 13 games, with four of them coming in his last four games. In addition, d'Arnaud has 16 RBIs in his past nine outings -- including four consecutive multi-RBI performances -- and has scored two runs in each of his last five games.

Since May 1, the California native is in a four-way tie for second in the Minors with nine homers, one shy of the league lead shared by Stefan Gartrell, Wil Myers, Anthony Rizzo and Reynaldo Rodriguez.

Selected by the Phillies 37th overall in the 2007 Draft, d'Arnaud was acquired by Toronto in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia in December 2009.

On Sunday, Las Vegas right-hander Bobby Korecky (3-0) earned the win for the 51s, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out one batter over two innings. Starter Bill Murphy surrendered two runs on three hits and two free passes over 3 2/3 frames and did not factor in the decision. He struck out four batters.

Las Vegas center fielder Anthony Gose was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a walk out of the leadoff spot, and designated hitter Adam Lind drove home two runs in the victory.

Salt Lake's Rincon (0-1) allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in the losing effort. He yielded three hits and two walks and fanning a pair.

Bees center fielder Drew Heid, second baseman Matt Long and catcher Robinzon Diaz collected two hits apiece.

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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