Mikie Mahtook came into Monday's game without any home runs in 153 at-bats. He left with a souvenir.
The Rays' No. 4 prospect smacked his first homer of the season and collected four RBIs as the Class A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs won an 11-7 slugfest over the Brevard County Manatees.
Drafted with the 31st overall pick in June, Mahtook belted three longballs in the Arizona Fall League, but had yet to hit one in his first full professional season. He finally went deep in the first inning Monday, sending a pitch over the right-field wall to plate three runs.
"It's always nice to get the first one out of the way," Mahtook told the Charlotte Sun. "I got the monkey off my back. I don't have to worry about that zero any more. It's good to finally get one."
Though it was not technically his first professional home run, Mahtook still appreciated it for being his first Minor League roundtripper.
"I've got the ball in my locker," he told the Sun. "It's something I'll always have with me. Hopefully, it's the first of many firsts. Hopefully, I'll have a long career with a lot of opportunities for firsts."
Mahtook got his other hit of the game in the second, hitting a line-drive single to left field. He drove in his final run on a groundout in the sixth and also drew a walk in the eighth. In 42 games, the 22-year-old outfielder is batting .280 with 11 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs.
Hitting right behind Mahtook in the Stone Crabs lineup, Derek Dietrich went 3-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs. Cody Rogers also went deep for Charlotte, while Brett Nommensen recorded two singles, a walk and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot.
"It was one guy doing it, then another doing it, then it trickled down the line," Mahtook told the Sun.
The Manatees had no shortage of offensive standouts either. Shawn Zarraga went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored, while Michael Walker and T.J. Mittelstaedt drove in two runs apiece.
Albert Suarez (3-2) allowed three runs on three hits over 5 1/3 frames to secure the win. Chris Rearick struck out five over 2 1/3 one-hit innings to record his ninth save of the season.