Scrappers' Lucas drives in career-high six runs

Indians infielder belts first grand slam; Benson collects three hits

Simeon Lucas has never hit more than three homers in any Minor League season. (Rick Nelson/

By Alex Kraft / | July 17, 2017 10:11 PM ET

With one swing of the bat, Simeon Lucas surpassed his career high for RBIs in a game. It took just two more swings to turn it into a night to remember.

The Cleveland infield prospect plated six runs and smacked his first career grand slam in Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley's 11-5 victory over Batavia on Monday at Eastwood Field. 

Lucas flew out to left in the first, knocked in a run with a groundout in the third and flew out to right in the sixth. With the bases loaded in the seventh, the left-handed hitter worked the count to 1-1 against right-handed reliever Josh Alberius (1-1).

Gameday box score

"He threw a get-me-over slider for a strike and he threw me a fastball kind of up-and-out," the Ingleside, Illinois native said. "A lot of times when pitchers want to do that, they'll throw another breaking ball. At that point, I was just sitting dead slider."

Alberius went back to his breaking pitch on the next offering, and Lucas hammered the ball over the fence in right-center. The blast was the seventh of his four-year Minor League career.

"My mentality is always try to hit a line drive through the fence," the first baseman said. "At the end of the day, when you do the right swing, line drives will just go over the fence."

Having accumulated five RBIs to that point, Lucas looked for more. With two outs in the eighth, he capped his night with a run-scoring single to right. The 21-year-old's teammates took it upon themselves to let him know just how well his night had gone.

"Everybody was making jokes like, 'Oh now, you're just being selfish,'" Lucas said with a laugh. "My first year of my career, I was always worried about stats. I just felt like there was so much extra stress tied into that. I don't force myself to pay attention to stats, but when people start bringing it up, that's when it kind of hits, 'Oh, you actually did have a good night.'"

MiLB include

The 2014 seventh-round pick doubled his previous career high for RBIs, which he accomplished four times over three seasons in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Lucas raised his batting average to .333 with two homers and eight RBIs in 12 games with the Scrappers this year.

"Now that the game is over and you have time to look back, it's a pretty special feeling," the Grant Community product said. "There's really nothing much to compare to it."

Will Benson -- Cleveland's No. 6 prospect and the club's 2016 first-round pick -- busted out of a 2-for-27 slump by going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Mahoning Valley. 

"You would be hard-pressed to find another guy that can just focus on a problem and grind through it," Lucas said of Benson. "The amount of work he's been putting in, it's extremely deserved for him. I can't talk better about anybody else on our team."

Cameron Mingo (3-0) surrendered two hits and struck out one over two innings in relief for the Scrappers. 

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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