Fox delivers career-high four base hits

Rays No. 14 prospect leads 25-hit onslaught in Hot Rods' rout

The Rays acquired Lucius Fox as part of the deal that sent left-hander Matt Moore to the Giants last year. (Bowling Green Hot Rods)

By Gerard Gilberto / | June 11, 2017 5:34 PM ET

After striking out five times Saturday night, Class A Bowling Green leadoff man Lucius Fox arrived at the ballpark early Sunday with a plan to leave the past in the past. 

"My coaches came to me and told me just to flush it. Tomorrow is a new day," the Rays' No. 14 prospect said. "That's a part of learning and developing as a young player. You'll have rough days like that, but you can't dwell on them. You can't think about them, you just move forward." 

Gameday box score

Fox bounced back in a major way, collecting a career-high four hits in the Hot Rods' 17-6 romp over the Lake County Captains after the completion of a suspended game at Classic Park. The 19-year-old homered, doubled and singled twice, matching his pro best with three RBIs and scoring twice in six trips to the plate.

"I came in early today to get some work with [Bowling Green hitting coach Joe Szekely] and it paid off," Fox said. "Just trusting my approach, I got good pitches to hit and I put good swings on it."

The 4-for-6 effort bumped the Bahamas native's average up 12 points to .294 and led a franchise-record 25-hit barrage for Bowling Green. That broke the previous mark of 23 set on April 15, 2012, also against Lake County. All but one of the 10 Hot Rods to get an at-bat in the contest tallied a hit, while eight had at least two hits and four had three hits. 

Eleardo Cabrera, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, matched Fox with four hits -- also a career high. The 21-year-old from Venezuela doubled, singled three times and was hit by a pitch, getting on base three times ahead of a hit by the shortstop.

"He played a big role. He just sets the tone for me and it gave me a lot of confidence going up to the plate," Fox said. "It really helped a lot. He put together some great at-bats."

The Delray Beach, Florida high school product was stranded on first after leading off the game with a single to center field and delivered a two-out knock to right in the second inning. 

After Cabrera was hit by a pitch in the third, Fox picked up his first RBI with a double to right and advanced to third after Tampa Bay's No. 6 prospect Josh Lowe reached on a fielding error by first baseman Jose Vicente.

Hot Rods manager Reinaldo Ruiz, serving as third-base coach, then told Fox he was giving Lowe the green light to swipe second, and if the opportunity presented itself, Fox was to us his 70-grade speed to try and steal a run.

"He took off on the first pitch and the coach also told me to just read it," Fox said. "It was a righty hitter [Robbie Tenerowicz] up. He threw it all the way to second and I just tried to take advantage."

Fox crossed the plate on the double steal, his 17th stolen base of the season.

After batting around in the third, the Hot Rods sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth. The inning began with a triple by Cabrera before Fox cracked his second homer of the season to right.

"My approach was just to get something in the air to drive him in. I just put a good enough swing on it to get it out of the ballpark," he said. "It was an amazing feeling, just running around the bases."

Fox ended the rally by bouncing into a forceout with runners on the corners and two outs after Cabrera collected an RBI single.

MiLB include

Cabrera delivered a double to lead off the seventh ahead of a strikeout in Fox's final at-bat. Lowe then plated Cabrera with a single, Bowling Green's record-breaking 24th hit. The run scored by Cabrera tied the club record for a seven-inning game set on June 9, 2010 against Wisconsin.

Lowe drove in three runs and scored twice. Adrian Rondon, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, hit a grand slam and two singles, collecting five RBIs while seventh-ranked Jesus Sanchez added three singles, three runs and two RBIs. Emmanuel Tapia belted a three-run homer in the sixth for Lake County.

The game was played after the two teams completed the final four innings of Wednesday's suspended contest. The Hot Rods won, 8-4, led by four hitless frames by starter J.D. Busfield, a two-run homer by Jonah Heim and three hits and two RBIs by Nathaniel Lowe.

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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