Three days after finding some confidence at the plate, Miguel Sano turned Monday's matinee into a home run derby at Kane County.
Sano, who said Friday that he was "definitely feeling more confident," crushed a pair of homers and drove in five runs to lead Class A Beloit past Kane County, 9-7, on Monday afternoon.
The Twins' No. 1 prospect grounded out and walked twice in his first three at-bats before smashing a go-ahead three-run homer to right field in the seventh inning. He homered again in his next at-bat, a two-run shot again to right in the eighth.
The big afternoon came three days after Sano snapped an 0-for-6 Opening Day debut with a grand slam to beat Peoria.
"I've always been aware that I'm a strong guy," Sano said Friday, "but the home runs haven't always been there. My coaches made me focus on hitting the ball up the middle and to the opposite field, and they said the home runs will follow."
Sano, with three homers and nine RBIs in four games, ranked second in the Minors as of Monday afternoon behind High Desert's Brad Miller with 11 RBIs.
Signed by the Twins in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, Sano finished second in the Appalachian League in home runs (20) and runs scored (58) and third in RBIs (59) and slugging percentage (.637) last year, his second season in the Minors. He entered this year ranked No. 23 overall by MLB.com.
The 18-year-old, batting .231 in his first four games, said last week that his goal for 2012 is to reach 100 RBIs.
"I'm still adjusting to the league and I was a little worried the cold weather," he said Friday. "I'm definitely feeling more confident."
Bart Carter picked up his first win for Beloit despite allowing two runs in one inning after starter Jason Wheeler held the Cougars to one run on five hits over four frames.
Andrew Stueve took the loss and was charged with five runs on six hits and a walk in the seventh -- he allowed Sano's first homer, while Eric Cantrell served up the second.