Ramsey paces Rafters to victory

Cardinals' No. 10 prospect goes 4-for-5 with three runs scored

James Ramsey has 14 hits and 11 runs scored in 11 games for Salt River. (MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | October 29, 2013 9:33 PM ET

The Rafters got off to a slow start in the AFL. James Ramsey picked up the pace Tuesday.

The Cardinals' No. 10 prospect was 4-for-5 with three doubles and three runs scored as Salt River defeated Mesa, 7-3.

Ramsey got the scoring started, doubling to open the home half of the first inning for the Rafters and coming home on a groundout by Jake Lamb (D-backs). The 23-year-old outfielder was the sparkplug again in the third, singling to open the frame and crossing the plate on a single by Rockies' No. 9 prospect Kyle Parker.

"It was big," Ramsey said of getting off to a quick start."[Matt] Purke's a great pitcher. He's having a good Fall League. My job is to go up there and see pitches. I think it was eight or nine, so whether I get a hit or not, it's great."

Ramsey extended the club's lead to 6-0 with an RBI double in the sixth before scoring the final run on a double by Nick Ahmed (D-backs) in the eighth.

"I felt great," Ramsey said. "I've been working on some things to get my process down, to find out who James Ramsey is. Some nights it'll turn out like this and some nights it won't."

The Cardinals' first-round pick in 2012 raised his average to .333 in 11 games. The Georgia native has smacked six doubles and scored 11 times for Salt River. After striking out 121 times in 112 Minor Leagues games, Ramsey has cut that number down to eight whiffs in 11 contests.

"My two-strike approach is getting better," he said. "Not just cutting down strikeouts, but making sure that I'm putting my team in great position to win by putting ball in play and using my legs. Showing up every day with a blue-collar attitude and never being content."

After starting the Arizona Fall League campaign 4-9, the Rafters have gone on a five-game winning streak to pull to within 1.5 games of first-place Mesa in the East Division.

"Everyone has been very upbeat the whole time, even when we were dropping games," Ramsey said. "Everyone understands that we're out here to get better and that when we get better individually, we get better collectively"

Grayson Garvin (Rays) improved to 2-2 after allowing four hits and striking out four over 4 2/3 innings for the Rafters.

Jacob Wilson (Cardinals) was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Salt River.

Purke (2-1), the Nationals' eighth-ranked prospect, took his first loss of the fall, surrendering five runs on eight hits over three innings.

Cubs' No. 4 prospect Kris Bryant slugged his sixth homer for Mesa.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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