McMahon making teams pay for mistakes

Rockies prospect smacks grand slam, drives in six runs for Tourists

Ryan McMahon has totaled five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 10 games. (Tony Farlow/Asheville Tourists)

By Ashley Marshall / | April 27, 2014 6:35 PM ET

Ryan McMahon isn't a vengeful person, but he was happy to make his opponents pay for issuing an intentional walk to bring him to the plate.

The Rockies' No. 5 prospect hammered a third-inning grand slam as part of a six-RBI performance Sunday afternoon, leading Class A Asheville to a 12-2 romp at Augusta.

"They intentionally walked [Patrick Valaika] in front of me, and that didn't make me too happy," McMahon said. "But I took a pretty deep breath and got control of my emotions.

"They had my number this series and they had a pretty good plan on how to attack me, but they made a mistake. I was just trying to do my job, but there was nothing out of spite."

Augusta starter Christian Jones fell behind the 19-year-old third baseman, who entered Sunday tied for third in the Minors with eight homers, before serving up a high fastball to the left-handed hitter, who took it out to left field.

"I was looking for a pitch up," said McMahon, who thought his last grand slam would have been back in his Little League days. "A lot of these guys throw off-speed in a lot of different counts, so you have to look for something up and something you can drive.

"Sometimes you get a little too big and you swing too hard, but I was able to put the bat on the ball. This place is a graveyard. Some balls that are home runs in other places are not here, but I knew I had at least a double."

McMahon added a two-run double in the eighth, giving him 14 RBIs in his last 10 games. The six RBIs matched the career high he established on last July 30 during a two-homer game for Rookie-level Grand Junction.

McMahon was 8-for-20 with four homers and eight RBIs in six games between April 16-22 but 0-for-11 in his previous three starts. With nine homers, he moved into a tie for second in the Minors with Myrtle Beach's Joey Gallo, one behind J.D. Martinez, who was promoted to Detroit last week.

The California native said he doesn't consider himself a streaky hitter and attributed the extra thunder in his bat to adding bulk in the offseason and hitting the ball to the opposite field. He's added 15 pounds of muscle since September, but he'd still like to go from 198 pounds to 205 or 210.

"I was pretty good today," said McMahon, a 2013 second-round Draft pick. "I had a couple at-bats that I gave away, but besides that I was happy with the win and happy I could help my team.

"I'm trying to stay inside the ball and hit it to left field. Usually, I just try to focus on hitting it back up the middle, but I've been flying out a lot lately. My swing path is to hit fly balls and line drives. Now I'm staying through the ball and not rolling over on it."

McMahon had two of the Tourists' 13 hits, while catcher Jose Briceno went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Valaika and center fielder Raimel Tapia each contributed two RBIs.

Asheville's Johendi Jiminian (4-1) won his second straight start after allowing two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and a walk while striking out one over seven innings. He ranks seventh in the South Atlantic League with a 1.27 ERA.

Augusta counterpart Christian Jones (1-2) surrendered four runs on five hits over four innings, walking two and striking out two.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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