Nunez's slam caps grand night

Dodgers farmhand homers, drives in career-high eight runs

By Robert Emrich / Special to | July 3, 2012 9:25 PM ET

Luis Nunez didn't just have a good night, he had a grand one.

The Dodgers farmhand homered and drove in a career-high eight runs Tuesday as Double-A Chattanooga rallied for an 11-6 victory over visiting Tennessee.

Nunez smacked an RBI double in the third inning and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Batting with two on and one out in the seventh, he delivered a two-run single, setting up a big at-bat in the eighth.

With the bases loaded, the 25-year-old first baseman took the second pitch from reliever Casey Weathers and deposited it over the wall in left field to cap the scoring as the Lookouts posted 11 unanswered runs.

"We just play hard and continue to keep playing," Nunez told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "We kept our heads up when we were down and didn't get down on ourselves. We're on the road for six [games] after tonight, so it's important for us to play hard and keep playing good."

Nunez, who signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers in January after seven years in the Yankees organization, plated four runs several times, most recently on May 4 against Huntsville. It was the Venezuela native's first grand slam since Aug. 21, 2008, when he was playing for Class A Advanced Tampa.

Overall, Nunez is batting .248 with five homers and 41 RBIs in 74 games for the Lookouts.

Brahiam Maldonado went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and finished a homer shy of the cycle, while Nick Buss collected four hits and scored twice for Chattanooga.

Zach Lee, the Dodgers' top prospect, allowed six runs on seven hits over three innings and did not figure in the decision in his second Double-A start. Steve Ames (1-2) earned the win, allowing one hit in a scoreless frame.

Michael Burgess had two hits and drove in four runs for the Smokies.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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