Reed completes hat trick in JetHawks' rout

Astros prospect clubs three homers, drives in career-high nine runs

A.J. Reed is batting .364 with five homers and 13 RBIs in six games in May. (K. Ross Way/Lancaster JetHawks)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | May 7, 2015 2:24 AM

A.J. Reed doesn't often have multi-homer games, but when he does, he does it in style.

The Astros' No. 12 prospect launched three homers as part of a career-high nine-RBI night Wednesday, powering Class A Advanced Lancaster to an 18-4 rout of Stockton.

Reed quickly put the JetHawks on the board with a three-run blast in the first inning. After walking in the third, the 21-year-old first baseman hit his second career grand slam in the fourth, giving him his first multi-homer game as a Minor Leaguer. After plating a run with a forceout in the seventh, Reed launched a solo shot in the ninth, becoming the first player in the Minor Leagues this season with a three-homer game.

"It's exciting," he said. "It's nice to feel comfortable at the plate. After the first two, that was my goal, to hit a third one, and I got a pitch I could drive and put a good swing on it. Bryce Harper had a three-homer game today and, after my second one, some of the guys and coaches in the dugout were talking about how he had three in a game and that I had to do it. It's cool to be the first guy to do that this year."

After compiling a .772 OPS in April, Reed's bat has heated up in May. The University of Kentucky product has five homers and 13 RBIs while batting .364 in six games; he totaled three homers and 11 RBIs in his first 20 games of the season.

"My birthday is in four days, so I always like May just 'cause of that reason," Reed said. "I'm just starting to feel comfortable at the plate, starting to see the ball better, hopefully getting into a groove and hitting the ball hard."

Reed had never gone deep twice in a game before and his previous career high was four RBIs, established last July 26 while playing for Class A Short Season Tri-City. That was also the date of his other grand slam.

For Lancaster, the 18 runs marked a season high in the California League and the most the club has scored since a 26-5 romp over Lake Elsinore on Aug. 1, 2013.

"Tonight was a big night for us. We had lost six in a row and our bats hadn't been there and we'd been talking a little bit," Reed said. "To be able to put up 18 and hit the ball hard tonight, it was good to be able to do that. It wasn't just a couple of guys, everyone was hitting the ball hard. It's fun to do it with a group of guys you enjoy being around."

Jack Mayfield was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Ronnie Mitchell plated a pair of runs for Lancaster.

Franklin Barreto, the A's No. 2 prospect, had two hits and two RBIs, while Jose Brizuela slugged a two-run homer for the Ports.

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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