Sanchez homers in first Triple-A at-bat

Yankees No. 7 prospect drives in three runs in RailRiders debut

(Patrick L. Pfister)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | July 18, 2015 10:19 PM

After waiting two years to make the jump to Triple-A, Gary Sanchez didn't take long to mark his mark in the International League.

The Yankees' No. 7 prospect homered on the second pitch he saw Saturday night, adding a single and getting robbed of a third hit in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-3 loss to Louisville at Louisville Slugger Field.

"He was a little bit anxious when he first got here, but he's played with most of the guys on this team, coming up in the system, so that calmed him down a little bit and he was himself," RailRiders hitting coach Marcus Thames said. "He has some real good hit-ability and he's going to have some good swings, and today I thought he looked good. He was calm; he wasn't trying to do too much. He executed well when he got the chance to."

Sanchez got things started with a bang when sent a 1-0 offering from southpaw David Holmberg over the left-center field wall for a three-run shot.

"He got in a good hitter's count and the pitch they threw was a fastball and he didn't miss his pitch. He was geared up and ready for it," Thames said. "He was excited. When he came to the dugout, everyone shook his hand but me. Being a hitting coach, I was just messing with him a little bit. He was pumped up, I was happy for him."

The 22-year-old catcher singled to center in the third, but grounded back to Holmberg in the fifth and was robbed of a potential double by left fielder Juan Silva in the eighth.

Sanchez began the 2013 campaign with Class A Advanced Tampa, was promoted to Double-A on Aug. 4 and had been in Trenton ever since. The native of the Dominican Republic native was hitting .262 and shared the team lead with Yankees No. 2 prospect Aaron Judge with 12 homers when he was promoted Friday.

"He was pretty solid; he came as advertised," Thames said. "Gary's improved every single year he's been in the organization and today, I thought he did a great job. He's matured a little bit. He's getting older, he's starting to realize that this stuff is serious now. He's doing a good job and everyone is happy for him. He's doing what we're expecting out of him."

While Sanchez shined for the RailRiders, it was Ryan LaMarre who helped the Bats avoid a third straight loss. The center fielder went 4-for-4 with a homer, two doubles and two RBIs.

Holmberg (6-6) got the win after allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three over seven innings. Jose De La Torre retired the final six batters in order for his second save. 

RailRiders starter Bryan Mitchell gave up three runs on four hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings, but the loss went to Danny Burawa (1-3), who was charged with three runs on five hits in 2 2/3 frames. 

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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