Luis Urias went hitless for the first time this season in Triple-A El Paso's home opener Monday, but he's never been one for extended slumps.
San Diego's third-ranked prospect hit safely in his first three at-bats to lead the Chihuahuas to a 4-3 win over visiting Salt Lake on Tuesday. Two of those hits went for extra bases, with one flying out of the park for his first home run of the season.
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"I've seen him six games now ... he's impressive," El Paso hitting coach Morgan Burkhart said. "He just does a good job of getting his pitch early, and he's got a good approach. He battles, he's a fighter and there's not a lot of panic. He's a young kid, but he hits very mature."
Urias started the afternoon by going after the second pitch he saw from Bees right-hander Parker Bridwell and hitting a ground-ball single to the right side in the first inning. Two frames later, he fell behind Bridwell, 1-2, before ripping a double to center with two outs and nobody on.
With the Chihuahuas down 2-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, Urias got a third opportunity to face Bridwell and again fell behind, 1-2. After watching a ball go by to even the count at 2-2 and fouling off the next pitch, MLB.com's No. 36 prospect pulled a fly ball into the left-field seats to get his team on the board.
Video: Urias hits first homer of 2018 for Chihuahuas
"He's strong -- not the biggest individual but a strong kid," Burkhart said. "He's got a good short stroke, works through the ball and can drive the baseball. Even when he gets down with two strikes, it's short but there's something behind it."
Urias struck out swinging in the seventh and grounded out to second in the eighth to finish 3-for-5 on the day. Tuesday marked the 34th game with three or more hits for the 5-foot-9, 185-pound middle infielder, who owns a 70-grade hit tool and .311 career batting average through 353 career contests.
"He does a good job of getting hits early," Burkhart said. "Usually he's pretty good discipline-wise when he ends up in hitting counts, and what he does with two strikes is impressive."
Hot-hitting Javy Guerra homered for the third time in seven games, blasting a two-run shot in the sixth to put El Paso ahead, 3-2. After Salt Lake's Ben Revere tied the game in the seventh with a homer of his own, Shane Peterson went yard in the eighth to give the Chihuahuas a 4-3 lead.
Peterson finished 2-for-4 and added a double, and Revere ended up 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
El Paso starter Walter Lockett allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five over six innings in a no-decision. Bridwell nearly matched Lockett, tossing 5 1/3 frames of two-run ball and allowing seven hits and one walk with six strikeouts.