Raptors club hat trick of home runs

Dodgers' Paz, Bannon, Hansen go back-to-back-to-back in first

Rylan Bannon has scored 12 of his 31 runs this season in the Pioneer League over the last eight games. (Kevin Johnson)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | August 31, 2017 9:02 PM ET

After following up Luis Paz's homer with his own, Rylan Bannon was caught off guard when Ogden's dugout erupted again to celebrate a long ball by Mitchell Hansen

The Dodgers prospects launched back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning of Rookie-level Ogden's 11-5 loss to Orem on Thursday night. 

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"It was kind of crazy," said Bannon, who finished a triple shy of the cycle. "I hit my home run and got back to the dugout. Before I knew it, somebody else was hitting one. It was definitely the first time I've been a part of something like that -- it was pretty cool."

Paz started the feat by lifting a 1-2 pitch from Mayky Perez over the fence in right-center field for his 16th homer.

He's now tied for second place on the Pioneer League home run leaderboard behind Casey Golden, who belted his 17th Thursday night for Grand Junction. Paz batted .196 in 39 games with Class A Great Lakes before being assigned in mid-June to Ogden, where the native of Brazil has found his stroke. Paz leads the circuit with 57 RBIs and ranks third with a .619 slugging percentage. 

Bannon made it two straight long balls by turning around an 0-2 fastball from the Owlz right-hander and planting it beyond the wall in left. It was the ninth homer of the year for the eighth-round pick in June's Draft.

Hansen completed trifecta by drilling a 1-1 pitch to right-center for his seventh homer with the Raptors. 

"I told him, 'Good job.' We were bouncing around the dugout a little bit," Bannon said. "There was a fun buzz going around. You don't see that, three homers in the first inning, very often, especially back-to-back-to-back like that. It was a very cool atmosphere."

Hansen, a 2015 second-round pick, spent the first 74 games of the season with Great Lakes. He hit .198 with five homers and 25 RBIs with the Loons, but the Plano, Texas native has enjoyed a resurgence since his reassignment to Ogden on July 25 -- posting a 1.109 OPS in 26 games.

With the back-to-back-to-backs in the books, the Raptors got behind Gersel Pitre, looking for their fourth roundtripper in a row. 

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"He's definitely capable. He takes some pretty impressive batting practice," Bannon noted about the native of Venezuela, who grounded out. "We were all cheering him on. He's a fun kid to cheer for. Unfortunately, he came up short, but we were definitely happy for three in a row."

Following a double to left in the third and an infield single in the sixth, the 21-year-old needed a three-bagger for the cycle. Instead, the grounded out in the seventh.

"I wasn't trying to think about it too much," Bannon said. "I was just focusing on getting the barrel to the ball. Hitting a triple is hard enough, so if you think about that too much, it won't happen."

The three-hit effort continued an impressive rookie season for the Xavier University product. In 32 games, Bannon sports a .368/.440/.641 slash line with 26 RBIs. 

"So far, so good. The Dodgers are an incredible organization, they're really taking great care of us," he said. "It was kind of a surprise for me, coming into Rookie-ball. Seeing my game translate from a good year in college into this is a good feeling.

"I don't want to say I'm surprising myself, but it's definitely great to see some of the stuff I was working on in college show up in professional ball. I'm looking forward to continuing to grind for the rest of the season."

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Top Angels prospect Jo Adell singled twice and drove in two runs, while sixth-ranked Brandon Marsh finished with three hits, including a triple, and plated three runs for Orem.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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