After reaching the Texas League at midseason last year, Ramon Laureano's first half in 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi earned him just a break at the All-Star break. That time off might have been just what he needed.
The No. 8 Astros prospect recorded his first career five-hit game and drove in three runs as the Hooks topped the Arkansas Travelers, 6-5, at Whataburger Field. Laureano belted the game-winning triple, doubled twice, singled two times and scored twice while nabbing his 18th stolen base -- third-best in the Texas League.
Gameday box score
"It's pretty cool especially since we got the win, that's always awesome," he told the Corpus Christi Caller Times. "I'm just trying to keep the game simple and trying to get something over the middle of the plate and that's it and not miss it."
In 77 games this season, Laureano is hitting .232/.307/.360 with five homers and 38 RBIs. Sunday's performance marked his fifth consecutive multi-hit game and he's turned around his .196 first-half average to a .462 clip in 11 games since the All-Star break.
"I get into two strikes too much whenever I swing too early in the count and I swing at bad pitches," Laureano told the Caller Times. "One of the things I learned is to not freak out and try to relax and know that everything is going to be OK. The season is too long, it's just making adjustments pitch by pitch."
Video: The Hooks' Ramon Laureano triples in a run
In the home half of the first, the native of the Dominican Republic blooped a leadoff double to right field after falling behind in the count against Arkansas right hander Justin DeFratus. Garrett Stubbs, 11th-ranked Astros prospect, followed with a two-base hit to score Laureano.
Leading off again in the third, the 16th-round pick in the 2014 Draft tagged DeFratus with another double, this time to left. Stubbs bounced out to push him to third and Houston's No. 13 prospect J.D. Davis rolled one over to second to drive in the run.
Laureano drove Jamie Ritchie with a single up the middle against the Travelers starter with one out in the fourth.
With Ritchie on second and one out in the sixth, the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M product came to bat against reliever Shae Simmons. He smacked a line drive that was knocked down by Arkansas second baseman Jeff Kobernus and hustled out an infield hit to get the run in. Laureano swiped second, but was left stranded.
After Kobernus booted a grounder by Arturo Michelena to allow the tying run to score with two outs in the seventh, Laureano roped a triple to center, his fourth of the year, to put the Hooks ahead for good.
Ritchie finished with three singles in five at-bats while Stubbs and Davis each plated a run.
Switch-hitting Marcus Littlewood homered from each side of the plate for the Travelers, the first in the fourth against right-hander Cy Sneed and the second in the sixth off southpaw Framber Valdez, the Astros' No. 30 prospect. The catcher plated five runs while No. 26 Mariners prospect Kyle Waldrop scored twice.