Rengifo sparks 66ers' 19-hit attack

Angels No. 28 prospect goes 4-for-5; Walsh homers twice

Luis Rengifo recorded his first four-hit game since 2015 in the Dominican Summer League. (Jerry Espinoza)

By Marisa Ingemi / | May 20, 2018 10:26 PM

Once the bats got going on Sunday, there was no stopping Class A Advanced Inland Empire.

Angels No. 28 prospect Luis Rengifo went 4-for-5 for his eighth multi-hit game of the month as the 66ers totaled 19 hits in 12-2 victory over Lancaster at San Manuel Stadium. Rengifo doubled and scored a run, while Jared Walsh blasted two homers and Jordan Zimmerman matched his career high with five RBIs.

Gameday box score

"The consistent approach was there throughout the day with those guys," 66ers manager Ryan Barba said. "The way they stuck with pitches in their zone and made hard contact and the results were there and took care of themselves. It was outstanding today."

Rengifo started the onslaught with a single in the bottom of the first inning. He singled again in the third, delivered his 11th double of the season and scored in the 66ers' three-run fifth and added a knock in the sixth. It was his first four-hit game of the season, although he went 3-for-5 on Friday and drew four walks Saturday. The Inland Empire leadoff man has raised his average 37 points to .323 since the end of April.

"He's sticking in his zone," Barba said. "He's looking for pitches to drive the other way and if he pulls it, that's fantastic. But he's staying in the zone, he's not chasing pitches out of the zone and he's staying in hitter's counts. When he does get his pitch, he hits it far."

Video: Luis Rengifo doubles

Walsh picked up his first homer in the fourth, sending a solo shot over the right-center field fence. He hit a two-run blast to right in the fifth to score Rengifo and leads the California League with 13 homers.

"You see where he left off last year and you hope he does the same," Barba said. "I was in [Double-A] Mobile last year and he made a brief stop up there and then came back down to IE and continued to do what he was doing. The same thing with all these guys -- it's because they have been stubborn with their approach. When he sticks in his zone, he hits it out of the ballpark."

Zimmerman joined the hit parade in the second, scoring Brandon Sandoval and Jonah Todd with a single to center. He plated Todd again with a two-run homer to left in the fourth and drove in Sandoval once more with his sixth double of the season in the seventh. The Michigan State product had a four-game hitting streak snapped Friday but boosted his average 19 points to .240 on Sunday.

"The day before, he went 0-for-4," Barba said. "He bounced back today, which we were really glad to see, and made some hard contact and got one out of the ballpark. He's been moving around the infield, it's good to see him settle in there [at first base.]"

Sandoval, Todd and Jack Kruger also registered multi-hit games for the 66ers, who established season highs in runs and hits.

"Once they start hitting, you pass the baton to the next guy and have that energy," Barba said. "That energy is in the dugout, then next thing you know you run into one for a home run. It's contagious and it rolls. It was fun to see it out there today."

Angels No. 26 prospect Joe Gatto (5-2) benefited from all the support, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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