Ronaldo Hernandez remained scorching hot.
The Rays' No. 19 prospectslugged two long balls for his first career multi-homer game, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs to power Class A Bowling Green to a 7-2 win over West Michigan on Saturday at Bowling Green Ballpark. It followed a five-RBI night in which Hernandez thumped his second career grand slam.
Gameday box score
"He's making some great strides and his development, especially on the mental side, has been great," Hot Rods manager Craig Albernaz said Friday. "Obviously, the physical tools have been there and always will be there. But it's the mental side of putting the together an approach at the plate, having good at-bats, and everything is starting to come together for him right now. He's still young at times at the plate, but right now everything is clicking for him."
The catcher has posted three-hit games in three of his last five contests and is batting .405 in his last 10 games. That stretch has improved Hernandez's slash line to .310/.360/.506 in his first full Minor League season. The 20-year-old hit .332/.382/.507 for Rookie-level Princeton last summer.
Hernandez's first homer came in the second inning when he turned on a 2-0 offering from right-handed starter Dane Myers and sent it over the fence in left field. The second came in the eighth as he cleared the fence in left again against lefty reliever Felix Viloria. He also led off the fourth with a double to left and drew a leadoff walk in the sixth.
Vidal Brujan went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Hot Rods, who totaled 11 hits. Starter Tommy Romero improved to 4-3 after allowing two runs on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in six innings. Hunter Schryver fanned three and yielded a hit over the final two frames for his fifth save.
Jordan Pearce accounted for half of the Whitecaps' four hits on Saturday, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer.