Armenteros nearly cycles in Ports' win

A's No. 4 prospect homers, plates three on three-hit night

Lazaro Armentero is tied for third in the California League with a career-high 10 homers. (Jerry Espinoza/MiLB)

By Katie Woo / | June 8, 2019 2:07 AM

One week into the month and June could hardly be going any better for Lazaro Armenteros

The A's fourth-ranked prospect compiled another three-hit game, falling a double short of the cycle, as Class A Advanced Stockton rolled to a 8-3 triumph over San Jose on Friday at Banner Island Ballpark. He homered, tripled and drove in three runs, marking the seventh time in his last eight contests he's collected at least one RBI. 

Gameday box score

After batting .198 in May, Armenteros has quickly turned the page. He's 10-for-23 this month with four extra-base hits and nine RBIs in six games. His three-hit effort Friday was his second in the last five contests. For Ports manager Webster Garrison, a simple tweak at the plate was all Armenteros needed.

"He's made some adjustments with the off-speed pitch," Garrison said. "He's seeing it a lot more. At the time, that's a pitch he was having a tough time with. He's made an adjustment and he's looking for it more.

"When you start battling that pitch, you get to see other pitches more as well. When you start hitting that off-speed pitch, you're going to start getting the pitch you really want."

Batting in the cleanup spot for the Ports, the 20-year-old outfielder wasted no time doing damage Friday. With two on and two out in the bottom of the first inning, he drilled a three-run blast -- his first homer of the month and 10th of the season -- off right-hander and Giants No. 26 prospectJose Marte, who was making his first start since April 9 after missing two months with a shoulder injury.

Armenteros tagged Marte again in the third, singling to left field on a 1-0 pitch. 

After striking out in the fifth against John Gavin, the Cuba native faced the left-hander again in the seventh. He won the second battle, lacing a one-out triple over the head of second-ranked Giants prospect Heliot Ramos in center field for his third three-bagger of the season. He scored on Hunter Hargrove's two-out, three-run homer that stretched Stockton's lead to 8-2. 

Needing a double for the cycle, Armenteros bounced into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded against righty Frank Rubio in the eighth.

2019 MiLB include

Since the end of May, he's raised his average 44 points to .242 and his OPS to .843. It was a trying time for Oakland's highest-ranked outfield prospect, but one that Garrison said is part of the process.

"He's adjusting well to the league," Garrison said. "He had some pitchers that had a little note on him last year regarding the off-speed pitch, but he's just developing. He knows he's highly rated and highly touted and he shows his skills on the field."

A's No. 7 prospect Jameson Hannah singled and walked, while 15th-ranked Nick Allen delivered a two-run double for the Ports. 

Courtney Hawkins homered twice for the Giants, smashing solo shots in the sixth and eighth. He's gone yard five times in his last six games.

Katie Woo is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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