Pacific Coast League pitchers had gotten the better of Franklin Barreto for the last two weeks. On Thursday, he pushed back.
Oakland's top prospect went 4-for-4 with an RBI triple before Triple-A Nashville fell to Oklahoma City, 4-3, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Barreto entered the game on a 6-for-33 skid over his last 10 games after going 8-for-14 in the first three. The slump prompted Sounds hitting coach Eric Martins to make some adjustments with MLB.com's No. 48 overall prospect.
"[Pitchers] were starting to come in on him a little bit, which was making him set his sights out a little further without letting the ball get deep, so he was having trouble recognizing pitches," Martins said. "We kind of worked on him getting back and getting down early and seeing the ball a little longer."
Everything clicked for Barreto on Thursday en route to his first four-hit game in the Pacific Coast League and his first in general since July 13, 2015 with Class A Advanced Stockton. The 21-year-old shortstop smacked singles to left field in the first and third innings, drove in a run with a triple to right in the fifth and grounded another single through the left side in the seventh.
Video: Nashville's Barreto hits RBI triple
His coach's advice proved particularly useful when Barreto was behind in the count. The Venezuela native had fanned 14 times during his 10-game slump, but delivered with two strikes on his first two hits of the night.
"That's what we talked about," Martins said. "A couple of the two-strike hits were balls that were in that he was able to get a barrel to and get some base hits. He took some pitches that were in the dirt and some pitches that were down that he was chasing before. Now he's got his sights set back further and he's letting the ball travel, where he's able to recognize those pitches."
If Barreto -- who raised his average back up from .286 to .340 -- is to continue to have success, maintaining a solid two-strike approach will be essential.
"Barreto's aggressive, but he also has pretty good plate discipline on top of that," Martins said. "He may swing and miss a little bit, but it's something that, with two strikes, it shouldn't bother him too much because of how quick his hands are and how good of a path that he has.
"With his bat speed, he's able to touch any single ball, so that's really key for him. Those base hits to left with two strikes were outstanding. They were great at-bats. It was good to see him get back on track."
Melvin Mercedes finished 2-for-2 and scored twice for Nashville.
Sounds reliever Michael Brady (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up a solo homer to O'Koyea Dickson and fanning two over 2 1/3 frames.
Madison Younginer (2-0) allowed a run on two hits and a walk while striking out six over 2 2/3 innings of relief for Oklahoma City. Brandon Morrow recorded the final four outs, fanning two, to notch his third save.
Fourth-ranked Dodgers prospect Willie Calhoun singled twice and drove in one run.