Dennis Raben had a memorable California League debut on Wednesday night, bashing a pair of homers and driving in five runs as the High Desert Mavericks crushed the Modesto Nuts, 18-3.
Raben, who was tied for third in the Midwest League with eight longballs before his promotion from Class A Clinton, finished the night 2-for-2 with four walks and four runs scored. He was the Mavericks' designated hitter after splitting time between DH and first base with the LumberKings.
Seattle's second-round pick out in the 2008 Draft of the University of Miami (Fla.), Raben missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing knee surgery. The two homers and five RBIs were both career highs.
After walking and scoring in the Mavericks' five-run first inning, Raben homered with one out and one on in the second. He walked again in the fourth and fifth before blasting a three-run shot with two outs in the sixth. The 22-year-old walked yet again in the eighth.
The left-handed-hitting slugger is no stranger to free passes, having tied the NCAA record for walks in a game by drawing six against the University of Arizona on June 8, 2008.
Raben wasn't the only Maverick to have a huge night at the plate. Left fielder Jacob Shaffer also homered twice and drove in four runs, while Travis Scott and Denny Almonte added a longball apiece. Eight players collected multiple hits as the Mavericks posted season highs with 18 runs, 21 hits and six homers.
Maikel Cleto started for High Desert and allowed one run on five hits in three innings. Left-hander Bobby LaFromboise (4-2) went the rest of the way, yielding two runs -- one earned -- on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Modesto starter Rob Scahill (2-2) suffered the brunt of High Desert's onslaught, giving up 10 runs on 11 hits in four innings. Jonnathan Aristil surrendered eight runs on nine hits over 2 1/3 frames before Ryan Peisel closed it out with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.