Not until the ball cleared the fence did Brennon Lund know he'd done something that eluded him throughout college and, until that point, his professional career.
The Angels' 18th-ranked prospect recorded his first multi-homer game and tied his career high with five RBIs, leading Double-A Mobile to a 7-3 victory over Jacksonville on Friday at Hank Aaron Stadium.
"I didn't think it was going over the fence," Lund said of the second roundtripper. "It was just one of those balls that just makes it out. I thought about it when I was running. I was like, 'That was the first time I'd ever done that in my whole baseball career, even college.' That's cool that I was able to do that."
Video: Lund's second dinger for BayBears
Batting in the first inning, Lund sent a hard shot back to the box, where the ball deflected off Jumbo Shrimp starter Merandy Gonzalez for an infield single.
The 23-year-old outfielder came up with a runner on first in the third and turned on a 2-0 fastball from Gonzalez, sending it over the right field wall for his fifth homer of the year. With the bases loaded the next inning, he fought off an 0-2 pitch and grounded to third to drive in another run.
Facing right-handed reliever Reilly Hovis with one out and a runner on third in the sixth, Lund pulled an 0-1 pitch down the right field line, just clearing the fence near the foul pole for his second two-run jack of the night. He struck out looking in the eighth to finish 3-for-5 -- his eighth three-hit game of the season and sixth since May 24.
Gameday box score
Entering Friday with 13 career home runs across three seasons, Lund doesn't consider himself much of a power hitter. The Brigham Young product long tried to create most of his offensive value by spraying balls to the gaps.
"But it's good to hit a couple of home runs every once in a while," he said, adding that he's realized hitting for more power would be an improvement for his overall game. "So that's what I've been focusing on a lot this year."
The adjustment did not provide immediate results. He hit .221 with a .634 OPS in April, driving in four runs with no homers.
"I struggled a little bit in the beginning here to try and figure out some things that [are] different from how I've hit my whole life," the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder said. "It's been good. I'm starting to see a bit more lift on my balls instead more of a line drive. My work's been paying off a little bit so far, starting to come out a little bit now."
Lund's night upped his slash line to .264/.345/.407 with 44 RBIs. The 2016 11th-round pick set his high mark with five RBIs on Aug. 2, 2016 during his first professional season with Class A Burlington in the Midwest League, and he tallied four RBIs this June 20 against Biloxi.
To get more lift on the ball, Lund made a tweak to how he loads his hands. He now keeps them moving as he readies his swing.
"That's one thing that's been hard for me, because my whole life, I've hit with my hands in one spot," he said. "So I don't generate a lot of power when you do that. ... That's what I've been trying to learn this year. It's starting to get more consistent as we go, but still not all the way there. I've still got a lot of work to do."
The left-handed hitter also realized early this year that the only way to test what he's learned during the offseason is to hit live pitching.
"You've got to sacrifice a little bit of your average or whatever to be better at one aspect," he said. "I realized that, changing stuff in my swing. I've gone to high peaks, but then I've gone down with my average. It's been like a roller coaster ride this year with the hitting. Hopefully, I can level it out and start to get more consistent with what I need to do so I can get a little bit more power with my swing."
Lund was born in Salt Lake City and raised in the suburb of Jordan. With the Angels' Triple-A affiliate located in Salt Lake, he would love a homecoming that would leave him one step from the Majors.
"It's a cool motivator," said Lund, who frequented Bees games in his youth. "I'm just not really going to try to press my way there. I mean, I'm just going to play and do my best here. When the opportunity comes, I'll be happy for it when I get there. I'm just trying to help the team win here for now. When the time arises, that would be awesome."
Marlins No. 7 prospect Isan Diaz reached base three times, delivering an RBI double and walking twice for Jacksonville. Miami's top-ranked prospect, Monte Harrison, scored twice.