Swihart goes yard on four-RBI night

Red Sox prospect backstops Owens' team-record ninth straight win

Blake Swihart has two homers and 10 RBIs in his last seven games for Portland. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | July 20, 2014 1:48 AM ET

Blake Swihart said everything was clicking for him on Saturday night, and it showed.

The Red Sox's third-ranked prospect drove in a season-high four runs and backstopped Henry Owens' ninth straight win as Double-A Portland cruised past New Hampshire, 10-3, at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Swihart came up with runners at first and second and two outs in the third inning. The switch-hitting catcher took a 2-1 slider from Fisher Cats starter -- and Blue Jays No. 3 prospect -- Daniel Norris over the left-field fence for his second homer in four games.

"I was looking to put the ball into play and stick with my approach," the 22-year-old Texan said. "That's the third or fourth time I faced him. I faced him before pro ball, in the [2010] Aflac All-American Game. It's definitely an honor to get a home run off a guy like that."

MLB.com's No. 47 overall prospect capped Portland's scoring with an RBI single in the sixth. Over his last seven games, Swihart has driven in 10 runs to push his team-leading total to 53 RBIs. The 2011 first-round pick is hitting .364 with runners in scoring position.

"I guess it's just a little extra focus," he said. "I'm just trying to help the team win."

After hitting nine homers over his first three Minor League seasons, Swihart is tied with Sean Coyle and Travis Shaw -- who's been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket -- for the team lead with 11.

"I have the same manager as I did last season and if you ask him, he'll say I had a lot of good hits, but I just hit them in places that weren't home runs at those parks," Swihart said. "Now I'm hitting balls that are starting to fall. And I'm bigger and stronger than I was last season and I'm putting good wood on the ball."

Shannon Wilkerson chipped in three hits and three RBIs, while Ryan Dent went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Sea Dogs.

With plenty of run support, Portland's Henry Owens (13-3) was able to shake off a two-run fourth and win his ninth straight start to set a team record. Boston's top prospect leads the Minor Leagues in wins and tops the Eastern League in strikeouts (117), ERA (2.25) and WHIP (1.06).

"He was going out there and got the back-to-back strikeouts, and that shows how strong and competitive he is on the mound," Swihart said of his batterymate. "He goes out competitively every game, it's fun to watch. He commands the strike zone well [and] he can throw any pitch for a strike in any count."

Eight of the Sea Dogs' runs came off Norris (1-1), who left after taking Dent's line drive off his pitching hand in the fourth. The 21-year-old southpaw gave up eight hits and a walk and lost for the first time in five starts since a promotion from the Florida State League.

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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