'Hounds' Rosa pours it on in playoff opener

A's slugger homers twice, drives in career-high eight runs

Viosergy Rosa led the Texas League with 110 RBIs and tied for third with 18 homers this season. (Tammy Tucker/MiLB.com)

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | September 7, 2017 1:08 AM ET

If somebody'd told Viosergy Rosa 2 1/2 months ago that when the postseason rolled around, he was destined to one-up the seven RBIs he collected in a career-best performance, he wouldn't have been shocked. 

"I would have believed them," the A's slugger said. "Baseball is one of those things, you have your highs and lows. Thank God, I've been blessed to have these situations. ... It's a weird feeling, but everything just clicks in the playoffs."

Rosa was up to his usual September heroics on Wednesday, going 3-for-5 with two homers, a double and a career-high eight RBIs to lead the way in Midland's 9-2 thrashing of San Antonio in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Texas League semifinals. He was named Southern League playoff MVP with Jacksonville in 2014 and helped the RockHounds win their third straight Texas League championship last year.

Gameday box score

The 27-year-old first baseman said the rout "absolutely" made a statement.

"We definitely wanted to come out aggressive," he said. "With A.J. Puk on the mound, we knew we had a really good chance. We knew we had to give him some offense and, thankfully, that's what we were able to do."

The left-handed hitter slugged a long three-run homer to right field off Padres No. 13 prospect Enyel De Los Santos in the third inning to open a 3-0 lead. 

"I knew I caught it good," Rosa said. "I didn't think it was going to go as far as it did."

Video: Rosa swats a big home run for the RockHounds

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The New York native doubled in two more runs in the fourth and A's No. 11 prospect Sean Murphy, who was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, made it 6-0 with a solo shot in the fifth. Rosa drilled another three-run dinger an inning later. 

"[I breathed] a sigh of relief because I knew we had to put up runs," he said. "Like in that inning when there were two outs and Murph hits a home run -- there we go. That busted it open. The momentum continues to shift our way. After that happened, it took some life away from them."

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Puk, MLB.com's No. 38 overall prospect, struck out eight over four scoreless innings, working around two hits and four walks. In two regular-season starts against the Missions, he surrendered nine runs in 1 1/3 frames.

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"That's exactly what the doctor ordered. He's come a long way and made some adjustments," Rosa said. "Once [Puk's last start in San Antonio] got over, I said to him, 'We're going to come back here and you're going to do extremely well against these guys.' Long story short, we're back here and he did it."

Video: The 'Hounds' Puk wraps up four dominating frames

Ty France had two hits and drove in both runs for San Antonio, which hosts Game 2 on Thursday night.

In other Texas League playoff action:

Northwest Arkanas 3, Tulsa 1

Sixth-ranked Royals prospect Foster Griffin spun 6 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight and allowing two hits and two walks, as the Naturals took the opener of the North Division finals. Jack Lopez and Alfredo Escalera both went 2-for-4 with a double, with Lopez driving in a run and Escalera scoring one. Dodgers No. 6 prospect Mitchell White turned in six shutout innings for the Drillers, yielding four hits and a walk. Box score

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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