Springer hits milestone, game-winner

Astros prospect scores 100th run on first-inning roundtripper

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com | August 20, 2013 9:53 PM ET

By any measure, George Springer had a pretty good game on Tuesday night.

He slugged his Minor League-leading 36th homer to score his 100th run of the season in the first inning, then delivered a walk-off single in the ninth to give Oklahoma City a 6-5 victory over Albuquerque.

"It was a good game," Springer said, "a good comeback for us."

It also was the RedHawks' 17th straight home win.

"It's fun. The team goes out and makes good pitches and we're making timely hits," Springer said. "We have the confidence to win, even if it comes down to the last at-bat."

For Springer, the Astros' third-ranked prospect, homering to reach a milestone is nothing new. On Sunday, he collected his 100th RBI of the season with a fourth-inning longball, also against the Isotopes. He entered Tuesday's game with 99 runs scored and took Albuquerque starter Jonathan Sanchez deep on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the first.

"I didn't know that, actually. That's awesome," Springer said of his latest milestone. "That's something special. It's always good to help us win, and the way that it happened is pretty cool, too."

The 23-year-old outfielder began the season with Double-A Corpus Christi and is hitting .302 with 36 homers and 39 stolen bases across the two levels. Earlier this month, he became the first Minor League to reach the 30-30 mark since 2009. And he could become the first member of the 40-40 club in 57 years.

After his first-inning dinger, his 17th since coming to the Pacific Coast League 51 games ago, Springer was held hitless in three straight plate appearances. The RedHawks trailed in the ninth, 5-4, but Carlos Perez walked, moved up on a sacrifice and scored the tying run on a double by Jose Martinez.

"There were some quailty at-bats by the guys who came up before me," Springer said. "Martinez had a huge at-bat. That was huge."

With Martinez at second, Springer worked the count to 2-1 against Isotopes reliever Javy Guerra. The University of Connecticut product lined the next pitch into left field to set off a celebration.

"[Guerra] just got behind in the count, but he made a good pitch. It was a slider," Springer said. "I told myself to slow my body down and hit it hard, and luckily I was able to see the ball well and put it in play."

The RedHawks have won six straight overall and hold a six-game lead over second-place Round Rock in the PCL American South Division.

"We're taking it one small step at at time," Springer said. "We're focused on each game and, hopefully, we'll get a playoff spot."

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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