With one swing, Christian Walker put his name in the Reno record books and into a share of the lead in the 2017 Minor League home run race.
Arizona's No. 27 prospect blasted his 30th home run of the year, equaling a franchise record and matching the Minors' top mark this year, as Triple-A Reno fell at Las Vegas, 9-7.
Walker opened his team's scoring in the top half of the fourth inning when he clubbed a 1-2 offering from Las Vegas right-hander Donovan Hand over the wall in left-center field wall for a solo shot with two outs. The shot extended Walker's hitting streak to nine games and marked his third contest in his last four with a homer. Teammate Zach Borenstein followed with a blast to right field, his 19th of the year.
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Acquired off waivers this year, Walker has found a home with the D-backs. The first baseman's 30 homers mark a career high, as do his 106 RBIs, the most in professional baseball and 12 more than any other Minor League hitter.
"For me, it's all about the strike zone … to own the strike zone," Walker told MiLB.com in June. "It's easy to get into swing mode when you're battling like that and seeing a lot of pitches and fouling some stuff off. Just in between every pitch, I kind of just reassure myself to know where the strike zone is and look for a certain location and just trust my instincts."
Walker's 30th homer of the season pulled him even with fellow Pacific Coast Leaguer Renato Nunez of Nashville, Oakland's No. 24 prospect.
Batting behind Walker in the cleanup spot, Borenstein put together a second straight impressive night at the plate. The outfielder, who went 4-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs on Wednesday, cranked a grand slam in the fifth and added a double on a five-RBI night.
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Las Vegas trailed by a pair heading to the bottom of the eighth but sent eight men to the plate in a four-run rally. Catcher Kevin Plawecki came through with the go-ahead runs, knocking a two-RBI double with two outs in the frame.