Will Smith's hits may not have been coming in bulk lately, but the backstop is certainly making them count.The fifth-ranked Dodgers prospect homered for the fifth straight game, breaking a deadlock with an eighth-inning solo shot en route to Triple-A Oklahoma City's 3-2 win over El Paso on Monday night.
Will Smith's hits may not have been coming in bulk lately, but the backstop is certainly making them count.
The fifth-ranked Dodgers prospect homered for the fifth straight game, breaking a deadlock with an eighth-inning solo shot en route to Triple-A Oklahoma City's 3-2 win over El Paso on Monday night.
"I show up every day and try to win the game that day," Smith said. "It's kind of always what I've done, just get a little better each day and try to help whatever team I'm playing on win that ballgame."
With the Dodgers and Chihuahuas even, 2-2, Smith led off the top of the eighth against right-handed reliever Andres Munoz. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, the 24-year-old cranked his 13th Pacific Coast League home run to left field to give Oklahoma City the lead for good.
"Munoz was throwing 100 miles an hour plus, and he's got good stuff, good fastball," Smith said. "He pulled the first two to go to 2-0, and then at 2-0, I took a swing at one kind of out over the plate and fouled it off. Then 2-1, he came kind of up and in on it, kind of where I was looking honestly. The whole at-bat was up a little bit and in, and I was able to turn on it.
"You're always looking for those situations and to do well in those situations. Luckily tonight I came up in a tie game in the eighth and got a pitch I could handle and put it out."
Gameday box score
Smith has just eight knocks during a six-game hitting streak, but homers in his last five contests gave the backstop the longest such stretch of his career. It surpassed a run of four straight last July 7-11 for Double-A Tulsa, his second four-game streak of 2018.
"I don't know exactly why," he said of his homers coming in bunches. "I think it's just a byproduct of having a good approach at the plate and swinging at the right pitches, putting the bat on the ball, the barrel on the ball and letting the rest take care of itself."
The 2016 first-round pick popped out to first baseman Ty France, the No. 29 Padres prospect, in the first before getting into the hit column with a double to left in the fourth. The home run gave Smith his second multi-hit game in his last 10 Triple-A contests.
"It helps to play in these parks where the ball flies a little better," he said. "You get up to hit a little more easily. It's more exciting coming into the day. I'm seeing the ball well and putting the bat on it, and you just try and ride these hot streaks out as long as you can."
Smith has boosted his slash line from .282/.390/.523 to .292/.400/.602 over the course of his hitting streak.
Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.