Isotopes' Murphy finds sweet swing

Rockies' No. 11 prospect shakes drought with pair of homers

Tom Murphy has five two-homer games in his seven-year Minor League career. (Stephen Smith/AP)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / | May 11, 2018 12:50 AM

Tom Murphy entered Thursday's game with just five hits in his past 39 at-bats, dropping his average from .359 to .280. With just two swings, the Rockies' No. 11 prospect began the climb back toward .300.

Murphy blasted two homers and plated five runs as Triple-A Albuquerque rolled past Reno, 7-4, at Greater Nevada Field. 

Gameday box score

The right-handed slugger clubbed a two-run shot to right in the fourth to score Josh Fuentes -- who fell a homer shy of the cycle -- and then went opposite field again in the sixth for a three-run shot. Murphy also added an eighth-inning single to bring his average to .298 this season.

The two homers tied Murphy's career high, which he had achieved four times previously, most recently on Aug. 23, 2016 against Fresno. The five RBIs are one short of his career best as he had six for Double-A New Britain on May 5, 2015 against Harrisburg.

Even with his slump, the eight homers put Murphy seventh in the power-packed Pacific Coast League.

His offensive production represents a big step up from an injury-riddled 2017. He was in line to be the Rockies' Opening Day backstop but a fractured arm sustained in Spring Training cost him more than two months.

He returned to the Majors on June 15, but was sent back to the Minors after struggling at the plate, and did not return until September as the Rockies leaned heavily on trade acquisition Jonathan Lucroy. When the Rockies brought back Chris Iannetta as a free agent, Murphy ultimately landed with Albuquerque.

Fuentes, meanwhile, had his second consecutive four-hit game and third in the past five, lifting his average to .351, which is eighth-best in the offense-laden PCL.

The 25-year-old tripled in the second, lined a single to center in the fourth, doubled to right in the sixth, and with a shot at his first cycle in the eighth legged out an infield hit. In the ninth with one last shot, he flied out to center.

The 'Topes had 10 hits to back the sterling pitching of former big league right-hander Antonio Senzatela (1-0), who was sent to Triple-A to stretch back out before returning to start in the Majors. Senzatela allowed just four hits and struck out four while walking two.

For Reno, D-backs No. 20 prospect Kevin Cron homered in the ninth to cap the scoring.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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